Not even nothing can be free of ghosts

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Frances Richardson, Not even nothing can be free of ghosts (installation view)

Cross Lane Projects is proud to welcome the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2017/18 exhibition as a new initiative to share it with audiences across the north of England. Frances Richardson’s exhibition has been developed over the period of a year, as the 15th winner of the award.

Marking a significant development in her practice, the exhibition Not even nothing can be free of ghosts(1) presents a group of new works referencing the image of water and water's metaphorical use to suggest state of mind. The artist is fascinated by the potential of things and places to hold information that is not explicit or measurable by traditional observation. Her new work aims to provoke a visceral as well as intellectual response in the viewer.

A key piece in the exhibition is Eidolon (image attached). Eidolon is a Greek word for object and applies equally to an idea and a thing. The artist found a piece of chipboard on the street in Deptford, London, interested in its distinctive shape, she explains: "I made a mirror image of the board in paper as a way of getting to know it – in making it out of another material, I’m measuring it with that material. The two sit together in a kind of Rorschach… a death moth …or are they wings?"

Such mirrorings are apparent in several works in Not even nothing can be free of ghosts. The artist is interested in dualities; and investigates a splitting between the sense one can get from being with an object or place, and its measurable qualities.

Richardson’s approach to sculpture draws out and exposes inherent properties in materials and the language of making. Using wood, veneer, video and copper for her new works, Richardson says "The material, and the way that you process the material, is integral to the spirit and meaning of the piece…it’s the content of the work”.

Coordinated by Standpoint Gallery, The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award is one of the most significant awards for emerging artists working in the field of sculpture in the UK. Offering £8,000 towards the making of new work, it rewards outstanding and innovative practice, with a particular interest in work that demonstrates a commitment to process, or sensitivity to material. Richardson was selected from 232 applicants by a panel comprising British artist Alison Wilding RA, British Sculptor Denise de Cordova, MTSA trustee Rebecca Scott and MTSA winner 2016/17 Beth Collar.

About the artist

Frances Richardson (born 1965, Leeds, UK) received her MA in Fine Art Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London in 2006. Previous to this she studied BA (Hons) Fine Art at Norwich School of Art and Design, Norwich. Richardson exhibits both nationally and internationally. Key solo exhibitions include: In times of brutal instability, Chiara Williams Contemporary Art, London Art Fair 2018, Performed object: Fig.090616, Concrete Canvas, Trefforest Industrial Estate, Cardiff 2016, Loss of object and bondage to it Fig.2, Bermondsey Square Sculpture Commission, Vitrine Gallery, London 2015, Loss of object and bondage to it, Lubomirov-Easton, London 2014 and Ideas in the Making: drawing structure, Trinity Contemporary, London 2011.

Richardson was awarded the Chiara Williams Contemporary Art SOLO AWARD 2017 and nominated for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women 2015-17 in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery.


1 The title of this exhibition is borrowed from an essay, What is the measure of Nothingness; Infinity Virtuality Justice, written by Karen Barad, 100 notes dOCUMENTA (13) Erschienen im Hatje Cantz Verlag p.12