The sculptural work of the English artist Richard Perry is based on form and the material, especially their interaction with space and light. It's an experimental creative process, alternating between intuition and premeditation, guiding him towards the creation of contemporary sculptures with geometric forms or, in his more recent productions, more organic shapes.
Richard Perry: a multidisciplinary artist
Richard Perry (1960, Nottingham) lives and works in the East Midlands, England. His passion and leaning towards artistic creation were apparent from childhood, when he would spend his time drawing and painting by attentively observing the natural surroundings and already beginning to reflect on the concepts of colour and perception. He then attended the Polytechnic University of Leeds, graduating in 1981 (Bachelor of Arts, Honours degree in Fine Arts). During his student period, Richard Perry developed an experimental approach along with his classmates, creating large-scale sculptures in situ on college grounds or in the city centre. This gave him experience in working with scale as well as increasing his understanding of their relationship with space and the environment.
Although he is clearly oriented towards sculpture, the artist still continues to draw and paint. His spontaneous drawings are not preparatory drawings for his sculptures; instead, they tend more towards formalising his visual vocabulary and help him think in a completely free, fluid manner, which isn't always possible with sculpture. Richard Perry reflects on this, saying: “I think I approach my practice from a painter’s perspective more than a sculptor’s.”
Sculptural research based on the material and form
Through sculpting, the artist discovers all ‘the joy and magic of materials’, including their limits, their potential and their various qualities. For his monumental works for the public space, Richard Perry works with bronze, architectural ceramics, slate, marble and stone. His studio work mainly focuses on stone, as he likes its ability to be transformed by light, as well as the fact that it creates a connection with somewhere other than his studio, such as the stone's place of origin, whether it's close by or further away (Ireland, Italy), depending on the stone he's using – alabaster, marble, limestone, red sandstone, granite.
“I am carefully attuned to the material and its potential, constantly seeking new possibilities in the process of transforming stone into arresting sculptural forms.”
After identifying the stone that best suits the idea he has in mind, he starts work on the form. The planes, lines, surfaces and voids find an elegant, solid balance in the abstract forms that emerge from the artist's imagination. Richard Perry's sculptural forms are inspired by architecture and the built environment, as well as landscapes and natural transformation processes. The geometric language, developed by the contemporary sculptor over the years, is now combined with an organic style, with supple and freer forms.
Richard Perry doesn't work from a model or drawing, he defines his creation process as the constant battle between premeditation and intuition: “It’s a bit like playing a game of chess with yourself, constantly trying to foresee moves and implications. When it stops being a battle, when the sculpture doesn’t annoy me anymore, when it has a character of its own and when it surprises me: that’s when it’s finished.”
Exhibitions, public commissions and collections
Richard Perry has exhibited in galleries in the UK, Europe and Asia. His monumental sculptures, made for public commissions, have won him multiple awards. His works are part of institutional collections such as those of the British Museum (London), the EDA Garden Museum (Tokyo) and several local public administrations, as well as appearing in corporate collections such as those by the multinational GlaxoSmithKline and the English health and beauty company Boots.