Richard spoke generously about his life as a sculptor, his interest in the discipline, kindled as a teenager. Richard has worked largely in hard metals such as bronze and aluminium. The process of making sculpture has required a practical understanding of the medium. Richard worked in a foundry for a while in order to better understand how to do bronze casting, an ancient technique such as was used by the Egyptians and Greeks and which is still largely unchanged today.
Richards’s ideas and inspiration for his subject matter are many and varied. His choice of medium to best explore the meaning behind his works can be in bronze or bronze and aluminium, tin, glass or a combination of these (mixed media). Richard looks at his own background to work up ideas cheaply and quickly. His inspiration for public art work is one person’s idea of the world, a world influenced by his travels in the Middle East, Egypt and his interest in contemporary Arabic text as a 3D motif in patterning.
Richard has a personal interest in archaeology and going out and into the field, to dig something up. He has a great interest in materials and sculptures of another place and time. Each year he visits Alamos in Cyprus working alongside archaeology students from Queensland. Richard was also influenced by the Benin bronze sculptures which were the only historical evidence dating back several centuries into the West African past, and the Benin peoples’ level of technical accomplishment attained in bronze casting.
In the Head with Two Figures ‘Zarathustra’ 1989 Richard was exploring the beginnings of figuration using the medium of tin. In the sculpture ‘M’ 1981 Richard has used cardboard, plywood and found objects exploring his interest in open spatial forms, with the addition of mirrors to break up the form of the object-almost as animal, a painted work, a material image in relation to what it is made from together with the notion of symbolic language. Painting onto the surface of a sculpture such as on brazed tin. brings his own images into a landscape.
In his series of ‘Multiples’ Richard has used alabaster cultured marble, drawing on his interest in mould making, paralleling the artist Marcel Duchamp in his sculpture ‘Boite en Valise’ 1934-41, where he (Duchamp) collected the objects that he liked and placed them in as small a space as is possible-the idea of a box in which all
his work would be collected and mounted like in a small museum.
Richard has pursued this idea in ‘Replica Museum’-artefacts in a display case, three dimensional pieces in a small free standing cabinet placed on small tables.
The city as landscape in the sculpture ‘Shangri –la’ 2006, is a collective entity; your identity in relation to living in a city, which is made from aluminium and bronze, the material actually taking away from the good taste of the work.
In the sculpture ‘Queen Bee’ 2008 (a colony of bees of different scales) for the Eureka Tower, the façade facing the Yarra river, made in anodised aluminium sheet and pop riveted.
Richard’s new work for his PhD is looking at cinema and sculpture and the object within the cinema.