Richard Caldicott Q&A
We caught up with the artist and his gallerist Tim Jefferies of Hamiltons to discuss the new images and their genesis.
Q: It appears that this time you’ve decided to work with real things, not collaged material?
A: Yes, I just wanted to deal with actual objects again, rather than the minimalist abstraction of the past few years. I think I wanted to tell stories a little bit more.
Q: Tell us a bit about the process.
A: I used the cheapest cups I could find – some were actually from Woolworths – which are then arranged, photographed on 5x4 film, sent to Germany for processing and scanning and then returned and retouched. They finished images are mounted on Plexi and backed with a sheet of aluminium.
Q: Would you describe these works as still lives?
A: Yes, but they’re not really conventional still lives. As with the Tupperware series it was slightly cheeky and humorous to transform something that was so obviously cheap.
Q: With your Script series you titled each piece. Here everything is simply Untitled. Was this a way of leaving the interpretation of the images open forever?
A: With Loop in particular I made a conscious effort to title, to work with words and lists, almost like concrete poetry. Here I have moved back to working with objects, so we just have Untitled 2008, with each image numbered simply for reference.
Q: Are there also parallels with contemporary architectural practice, in particular the current passion for seemingly endless towers?
A: It seemed a shame not to include the things I’m interested in, and architecture is certainly one of them.
TJ: The 13 pictures in the exhibition are all closely related – they’re fixed, single towers. When it’s hung, they’ll look like rows of toy soldiers
Q: The rich, glossy surfaces of the prints reference the materials of the cups themselves. Do you like this effect?
A: Some people have had a problem with the reflections in the past, but I really like them. I suppose there are also diptychs and triptychs in there, although that wasn’t the original idea.
TJ: There’s something almost Warholian about the way Richard’s taken the mundane and transformed it into a thing of beauty.
Q: At which point in the process of making these images do you feel the craft is the most focused?
A: I think when it succeeds in transforming the original object.