5 January – 19 February 2017
Nick Richards is a London based printmaker, artist and educator. He studied Fine Art at Bristol Polytechnic and graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1986. Based in south-east London, Nick works at Thames-Side Studios, beside the river in SE18.
The river runs through the work: watching the ebb and flow of the tide on his daily journeys to and from the studio, Nick combines observation with memory and re-imagined motifs. It is the combination of the vernacular and something invented that forms the basis of what he does.
The river is a living thing in a constant state of flux. Its tides reveal glimpses of its past and covers it again, and the sounds along its course point to a time when it was a working river – the voices, machinery, sand ships and river tugs, or the Clipper powering down the channel.
“I love the architecture of the river; the old wharves, jetties and moorings. I enjoy investigating the length of the Thames out to the marshes. Many of my favourite places have now gone but they are archived as photos, drawings or memories.”
A multiplicity of etching processes drives Nick’s practice. Rather than use hard or soft ground, he will aquatint a plate and bite it. “Because I enjoy the action of the acid I prefer aquatint to mezzotint. I like immersing the plate in the acid and laying on successive aquatints with sugar lift and spit bite, which are both spontaneous techniques.” — From Nick Richards in conversation with Louise Cattrell.