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Richard Rodrigues Exhibition in Freeborn Gallery

Posted on: 03/10/2017

We are delighted to be exhibiting the work of Richard Rodrigues in the Freeborn Gallery. Please do join us for a private view of his work on Wednesday 11th October between 6.30pm and 8pm. 

Below, Richard reflects on the inspiration for his work and his development as an artist over the years:

'The work exhibited falls into two well defined styles and time periods:1990 – 1997 (Geometric) and 1997 – 2017 (Organic).

Throughout the first period I was a Head of Art, teaching in the London Borough of Hillingdon. One of the projects undertaken by my GCSE students was entitled “Townscapes”. We spent a day in Uxbridge town centre looking at the different styles of architecture and, in particular, the effects of modern high rise glass structures on the landscape.

The resulting work reflects my personal response to this project. I worked in a linear way, following a logical sequence of ideas through a series of preparatory drawing, photographs and notes, before embarking on a final more personal composition.

All these pieces of work are geometric and tightly structured with some degree of expression in the use of colour. With teaching, family and travelling commitments, time was a precious commodity and consequently there was little room for experimentation or error during the creative process.

Taking early retirement in 1997 proved to be the catalyst to working in a less structured and geometric way and a more fluid, experimental and expressive style developed. Time was no longer an issue and the tensions and workload of teaching were lifted. The outcome of this change was a series of works that were more flexible, organic and far less predictable.

My interest in literature, music and travel is reflected throughout the work on display, and is usually the starting point. I have dispensed with preparatory studies and now work directly on the final piece.  Ideas are organised in my head and are sometimes consolidated months after the initial stimulus and are, therefore, quite divorced from a real situation, particularly as memories can be somewhat unreliable.  My use of deconstruction, fragmentation and re –organisation of imagery keeps the creative process fresh and innovative.

As a student I was greatly influenced by the American Chromatic Abstractionalists, Barnett- Newman and Mark Rothko. Colour is, therefore, hugely important and underpins everything I produce. It is often the starting point prior to embarking on a series of ideas.' 

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