Arick Russell BA (Hons) Fine Art
I grew up and have been working in the rural Cumbrian wilderness, exposed to the brutality and beauty of nature as it slowly sublimates structures, animals and people. Subsequently, ramshackle, rust and decay define my materials and practice. Through my work in sculpture and photography I explore the interplay between motion and stillness, life and death, the real and imagined. Suspended nodes of light become electrically mediated apparitions, as discarded tools and technology is given a new bio-mechanical pseudo-life.
The eerie, pseudo-spiritual subject matter of my work comes from the visual hallucinations I experience. These hallucinations can be very complex, but for this project I largely focused on the simplest and most frequently seen shapes, which resemble simple eye floaters. Their foetal-esqu forms, which became the basis for subsequent sculptures, was derived from an extensive drawing practice- part analytic observation, part surrealist automatism due to the cerebral nature of my subjects. My more abstract and impressionistic studies are reminiscent of Asemic Writing, the influence of which can be seen in the inkblot faces of all my ‘floater’ inspired sculptures.
The poor resolution of my phone’s camera has been an exciting tool while playing with perception, as it is reminiscent of my own short sightedness. The blurring, distortion and visual artifacts that manifest in digital photography also echo elements of my own psychosis. I realised by experimenting with lights, reflections and motion that I could manufacture these eerie effects, so began creating my own pseudo ‘spirit photography’, which has created some of the most convincing recreations of my visual hallucinations. The ‘Mister Red Man’ series I’m particularly impressed by. The spatially nonsensical and physically distorted appearance of my subjects are created exclusively with these experimental ‘analogue’ techniques, with only minimal post production editing of lighting and colour contrast.