Dave Richards
The work I have been exhibiting since the late 1980’s has evolved from painted sculpture to sculptural relief that incorporates drawing and collage. Lately I have been making more 2D work with the intention of bringing some of the energy and spontaneity from my drawing practice into more finished work.

In my relief work the carved three-dimensional forms interact somewhat playfully with the painted and collaged two-dimensional surfaces they are set into. They are like parts of educational toys or puzzle pieces set into a game board. Sometimes the pieces do not seem to quite fit and even appear to be missing or broken. The larger ‘set-in’ shapes, which sometimes resemble faces, develop from intuitive drawings and are hybrids of the machine parts and bodily organs that are their sources. The way my work is constructed and finished is meant to reference human experience in an indirect way, for example by having an inside and an outside or by being worked in such a way as to suggest age. They appear to have a life history and the way they quietly move or gesture gives them a sort of personality. The inside surfaces are often chalkboards, which contain partially hidden messages and images. This serves to make them both secretive and suggestive allowing the viewer to complete the thought or picture while also alluding to the fugitive nature of thoughts and memory.

Another aspect of my work is the use of found images and collage. I use images from newspapers, magazines, children’s books and coloring books. These images when cropped a certain way, taken out of context and combined with each other, take on new and sometimes sinister meanings. Sometimes they are strung together into a sort of open-ended narrative. I am interested in evoking memories of childhood but not as mere nostalgia. My intention is to use the worldview of a child as a symbol for the helplessness we often feel as adults in the face of the terrors and absurdities of the world: historical, political and biological forces that are beyond our control.