Legion by K. Richardson


Canadian artist Kelly Richardson is one of the leading representatives of a new generation of artists working with digital technologies to create hyper-real, highly charged landscapes, alongside figures such as John Gerrard and Saskia Olde Wolbers. 'Legion' is her first one-person exhibition in the UK, and provides a retrospective of over a decade of her work, including the UK premieres of three large-scale projections.

Richardson's work imagines an array of possible futures for humankind. She draws on the imagery of science-fiction cinema, literature, and the history of landscape painting to visualize the kind of relationships mankind may yet have to the natural world in an imagined near future. Her works are created by combining high-tech animations with footage of some of the world's most spectacular wildernesses. They ask us to imagine what future mankind can shape for itself and the planet when environmental meltdown seems, to many, to be all but unavoidable. Many of her best-known works create a vision of a world on the brink of apocalypse.  In 'Exiles of the Shattered Star', illustrated, fragments of a second sun fall to earth, covering the mountains and hills of the Lake District with balls of fire.

At the same time, Richardson is showing a brand new work commissioned by Tyneside Cinema as part of its Pixel Palace programme. It examines the crossover between moving image works made by artists and film-makers. Richardson was the Cinema's first ever artist-in-residence. Her new work 'Mariner 9', revealed at an offsite venue by Tyneside Cinema, features breathtaking landscapes set on Mars, where a drone machine continues to mine - for unspecified reasons - seemingly long after humanity has exhausted all possibilities of life there. 

Richardson has been widely acclaimed in both North America and Asia. Her work has been selected for the Beijing, Gwangju and Busan biennales, and has been shown and acquired by major museums across the USA and Canada, from the Hirshhorn Museum Washington and Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Museum, Buffalo to the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. In 2009 Richardson was selected for the Sundance festival and was honored for her contribution to the visual arts at the Americans for the Arts National Arts Awards. 

5 July 2012
29 September 2012

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
City Library and Arts Centre
Fawcett Street

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