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Canadian Artist of the Week
LOOK AT THIS: The Otherworldly Landscapes Of Kelly Richardson
March 29, 2014
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Mariner 9, 2012 (detail)

LOOK AT THIS is a weekly series featuring the work of Canadian artists, designers and creators of all sorts.

Name: Kelly Richardson

Born: Burlington, Ontario

Lives and works: North-east England. Richardson told Strombo.com, “Everyone I speak with assumes I live in London but really, I live in a sleepy seaside town called Whitley Bay which I absolutely love. The quiet pace allows for high productivity while at the same time feeling connected."

The work: Richardson’s immersive video projections, often over 12 metres wide, can make you feel like you’re a stranger taking your first steps onto a new planet. Her compelling and unsettling landscapes are never populated, and almost always emit unusual sounds and an eerie glow. They also point to issues around the environment closer to home.

A close encounter: Richardson’s worlds have an undeniably sci-fi bent. Film has had a huge impact on her work, and she remembers the sci-fi encounter that first influenced her: “We saw [Close Encounters of the Third Kind] at a drive-in theatre, a particularly fitting venue given the film’s content. It was beautiful and terrifying in equal measures, and played heavily on my imagination. Given my work in the last few years, perhaps its initial impact carried through my formative years.” Other movies that invaded Richardson’s consciousness include Silent Running, Logan’s Run and, more recently, The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Which one of Richardson’s landscapes would she like to visit most? “Honestly, I’m probably equally seduced and unnerved by all of them.”

What’s next: “I’m producing a series of prints which depict a seemingly natural, beautiful phenomenon after what might have been a great flood, and I’ve just started research and development into the production of my own Garden of Eden."

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