Some Assembly Required

August 5 - 23, 2014

Richard Reddaway
Installation: The Middle Ages, Fete / Fate, De Los Pobres

Richard Reddaway has long made figurative sculpture. Early work from the late 80's located the figure within architecture - the traditional context for western sculpture. Drawings were often photomontages, and materials ranged from painted and scrim-wrapped wood to mirror glass.

Twenty years on, things are similar but different. The figure remains paramount; indeed, there is in this show a compelling and fresh suite of life drawings that make just this point. There is, however, a more obvious playfulness and sense of theatre to this work. In part, it has been generated by Reddaway's interest in the baroque - research that began in Europe but more recently has taken him to Mexico, to the organised chaos of street processions, All Saints Days and the like. There is a marvellously festive air to this exhibition. The litter-like form of Fete / Fate greets one just inside the door. Painted resin blocks, diminishing in volume with height, suggest a presence that can be easily moved using the four blue handles at each corner of its base.

Embassy (detail)Also portable is the tower-like form of Embassy. Here though, Reddaway crumples and crushes his cast modular building blocks. Resin is left raw and transparent, and the whole tends toward the anti-heroic. But there is also sound: intermittent male voices barracking on a sideline. The sound of sports support breaks out from many random speakers placed in the molten walls of this sculpture. Rather baroque indeed.

But it is almost restrained compared to the extraordinary exuberance of De Los Pobres (Of The Poor). This sculpture stands tall with wheels, its body pierced through with nine pink brooms. The material contrast of resin, broom handle and pink bristle is evocative and surprising. It is a celebration of all street sweepers, complete with three little horns whose honk is both accolade and gentle warning.

A similar honking (and squawking) accompanies The Middle Ages: Father and Son. It makes you smile. Along with the beautifully fabricated wooden stands and thick painted skin of the sculpture, there is a lovely generosity to this work. Its layering of biography, conversation and interaction is typical of the exhibition. Many notions of assembly are alluded to, from public and private, to the formal and functional - all with a terrific richness and a certain economy of means.

The Middle Ages: Father and Son

De Los Pobres    Fete / Fate

Embassy    Was King

Drawings: installation


Details of works:

The Middle Ages: Father and Son,  2013
wood, painted fibreglass & audio components

De Los Pobres,  2014
fibreglass, wood & found objects

Embassy,  2013
fibreglass, wood & audio components

Fete / Fate,  2014
wood & painted fibreglass

Was King,  2014
wood & painted fibreglass

Drawings,  2014
graphite & acrylic on paper,  850 x 600mm




 Reddaway installing

















Reddaway photographing