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Frances Richardson

Not even nothing can be free of ghosts

Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2017/18

Exhibition: 18 May - 23 June 2018

Standpoint Gallery presented a solo exhibition of new work by Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2017/18 winner Frances Richardson.

Frances Richardson’s exhibition has been developed over the period of a year as the 15th recipient of the major UK sculpture award. On spending time in the empty gallery, Richardson was intrigued by a thought that she could smell water. Not even nothing can be free of ghosts ¹ sees the artist using wood, veneer, video and copper in response to the illusive impression a place can hold of something unseen.

Richardson’s interest in giving shape to ideas of nothingness is a continuing theme of her practice, evidenced in her drawings where fields of positive and negative pencil marks appear like thin undulating skins. The artist describes these as “slices of time, of what I feel it is to be, everything and nothing all at once”.

When it comes to the sculptural works Eidolon and Not all temporary objects can be avoided, the artist works directly with materials to present “a thought that encompasses both a memory of the real and a projection of the imagined”.

Initial research surprisingly confirmed Richardson’s perception of the presence of water in the gallery - a main tributary of the River Walbrook, as mapped by Stephen Myers (published in The Lost Rivers of London, revised edition 2016), runs beneath the gallery footprint.

The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award now includes a UK touring exhibition programme, Not even nothing can be free of ghosts will tour to Cross Lane Projects , Kendal, Cumbria from 12 October - 16 December 2018. This is a major development for the award and will see the winner’s exhibition reaching out to new audiences across the UK.

Mark Tanner Sculpture Award is one of the most significant awards for emerging UK artists working in the field of sculpture. Offering £8,000 towards the making of new work, it rewards outstanding and innovative practice, with a particular interest in work that demonstrates a commitment to process, or sensitivity to material.

Richardson was selected from 232 applicants by a panel comprising British artist Alison Wilding RA, British Sculptor Denise de Cordova, MTSA winner 2016-17 Beth Collar and MTSA trustee Rebecca Scott

Frances Richardson (born 1965 Leeds, UK) received her MA in Fine Art Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London in 2006. Previous to this she studied BA (Hons) Fine Art at Norwich School of Art and Design, Norwich. Richardson exhibits both nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include: In times of brutal instability, Chiara Williams Contemporary Art, London Art Fair 2018, In Time, Coffeeismycupoftea Space, London 2018, Performed object: Fig.090616, Concrete Canvas, Trefforest Industrial Estate, Cardiff 2016, Loss of object and bondage to it Fig.2, Bermondsey Square Sculpture Commission, Vitrine Gallery, London 2015. Richardson was awarded the Chiara Williams Contemporary Art SOLO AWARD 2017 and nominated for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women 2015-17 in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery .

¹ The title of this exhibition is borrowed from an essay, What is the measure of Nothingness; Infinity Virtuality Justice, written by Karen Barad, 100 notes dOCUMENTA (13) Erschienen im Hatje Cantz Verlag p.12