Monday 3 November 2008

Richard Chivers

All images ©Richard Chivers

Richard Chivers sent me some images from his latest project,Textures of Time: landscape architecture towards the tail end of last week which I have very much enjoyed perusing. Richard Chivers is a contemporary photographic artist and freelance photographer, located in Brighton and London. Born in Basingstoke in 1974, he completed a BA honours degree in photography at the University of Brighton in June 2006.

It is apt and illuminating that Richard has choosen to cite Robert Smithson´s seminal text A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects, 1968 when explaining his own work: "The Strata of the earth is a jumbled museum. Embedded in the sediment is a text that contains limits and boundaries which evade the rational order, and social structures which confine art. In order to read the rocks we must become conscious of geologic time, and the layers of prehistoric material that is entombed in the earths crust."

Consider this in relation to his Artist Statement. It reads:

"This project investigates the exposed surfaces where mineral extraction is or has taken place at a number of key localities around Sussex. In particular I am interested in the connection of these sites to geology, archaeology and history and how these spaces have been shaped and re-shaped.

The sedimentary rocks exposed in these quarries come from the geological time scale known as the ‘Cretaceous’ period. The ‘Cretaceous’ started around 135 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and ended 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs became extinct. Contemplating these epic geological timescales, we are encouraged to question our understanding of time and the transient existence of human life on this planet. It highlights the delicate nature of life on earth, with the rocks themselves providing insights into the life and destruction of the Dinosaurs and other creatures at that time.

Although these quarries represent relatively small scars on the Sussex landscape, they highlight the human need to constantly shape and re-shape our natural environment. The photographs themselves become a metaphor for larger concerns regarding the health of our planet and whether nature can recover from increasing human destruction."

Interesting stuff indeed!Richard has exhibited throughout the South East of England and in London. He has just received an award from the Arts Council England to produce a body of work in Sussex. He has also been commissioned by a property developer in London to produce work for their annual end of year reports. Richard is also working for the Photographers Gallery on the Colliers Green Focus project, teaching Key stage 3 children to explore the environment through photography.