Review: Kelly Richardson at the Grundy Art Gallery 20/10/2012 — 5/01/2013

Photography by C J Griffiths

Being from a Fine Art Film/Photography background I was clearly looking forward to this show and I was not disappointed.

On entering the gallery, the space had been transformed into a darkened exhibition area to best view the projections. The first piece, The Great Destroyer, transported me to a field or the countryside complete with the sounds that you may encounter: buzzing bees, crickets gently humming, sounds you might expect to hear should you be taking a stroll through the woods.

The projections were displayed onto suspended canvases and viewers were able to weave in and out of the installation. On Kelly’s site it states:

Occasionally we hear a lyrebird mimicking the sound of a chain-saw, car alarm, gun shots and cameras clicking as part of his mating call.

Is this because Kelly’s work draws influence from cinema and science fiction? The lyrebird, reminds me of the mocking jay from the recent popular children’s novels The Hunger Games, a shocking view of society in the future.

Photography by C J Griffiths

I moved into the main room where The Erudition is installed; a large 3-screen HD installation. The blue colour of the image is a stark hyper-real landscape. The trees somehow dissolve and then reappear magically. There is a certain apocalyptic feel to the installation – is it reminding us that the future may consist of man-made realities? Where human beings can decide on what their landscape should look like, as they would decide on their designer coat? The piece evokes quiet feelings of uneasiness.

In the third room we found Twilight Avenger.  A delightful, magical green stag is projected onto one large screen. The creature appears to notice you as you walk into the room and looks at you inquisitively. The green, smoky trails it leaves in its wake reminded me of a nuclear incident that it had somehow been caught in. At the same time the piece has a delightful child-like quality which perhaps encourages the audience to linger and get to know the supernatural beast.

The final room features Exiles of the Shattered Star. As we entered the space we noticed a large, tranquil lake landscape but with fire embers falling like raindrops breaking up the screen. The lit embers float like nuclear fall-out – is this the quiet before the storm? What terrible event has potentially happened and what will be its effect? Or are we are looking at the simple combination of 2 elements onto film to create a visual ‘dreamscape’?

Photography by C J Griffiths

I really enjoyed the show and spectators should find they will be able to draw a number of experiences from this art installation. Richardson’s influences of apocalyptic futures, cinema and literature are accessible and you will find her playing with your imagination and questioning your senses.




Legion by Kelly Richardson is on at The Grundy from 20th October 2012 to 5th January 2013.

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  • Show Comments (5)

  • Fiona Jones

    Great review. I went after reading. It’s mesmerising! And actually had to stop myself trying to get the deers attention.

    • Vicky Ellis

      It’s great isn’t it? I spent aaaaaages in front of Exiles. Mesmerising 🙂

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