When:2 Oct 2014, 6pm - 9pm
3 Oct 2014, 4pm - 7pm
4 Oct 2014, 4pm - 7pm
5 Oct 2014, 4pm - 7pm
7 Oct 2014, 4pm - 7pm
8 Oct 2014, 4pm - 7pm
Venue:Io Myers Studio, UNSW
Who:Kate Richards

Installation Exhibition

Kate Richards’ new installation grove is a luminous soft architecture inspired by the rich cross-cultural and natural forms of the woodland grove. Set in a moat of reflective darkness, grove is comprised of a dynamic light array, its floor molded from black rubber crumb and paths of glittery rock salt. The choreography of light-as-media is rhythmic and gently changeful, playing with the inherent materiality of light, it’s ‘faktura’ - reflectivity, transparency, volume and their others, absorption, opacity, and void.

This work is based on the artist’s new practice-led research into how embodied and precognitive perceptions of light and movement are fundamental to our engagement in an environment. We are in a dynamic and ecological relation to the environment and everything in it – including ourselves. Those movements within us and outside us, give rise to affects, the precursor states to doing, feeling and knowing. By eschewing content and ostensible interactivity and with its minimalist palette (of light and its antonym darkness) grove invites visitors into a quiet ecology in which to dwell and be immersed in these core registers of visual and spatial perception: grove affords audiences a sense of interiority. Like all groves, the installation space is literally and metaphorically animated and made sacred by light.

Situated here within Sydney, a city of modern flows, grove deflects, disrupts and inverts the urban chaos, affording visitors a refuge, a heterotopic space that is once contained in and removed from the surrounding urban noise. To enter grove is to experience this becoming, reflection and disruption, and to dwell in an immersive and contemplative space in which context has been dismantled and the pure medium of flowing light remains. As both a light installation and a sacred, soft architecture, grove plays on aesthetics of illusion and revelation, form and dissolution, gentle movement and occasional stasis. You are invited to move around, to wander within yourself in this immersive choreography of light, where relations are altered and time is transformed.


Artist | Kate Richards
Lighting Design | Chris Page

Produced by the Creative Practice Lab, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW Australia

Thank you

Sincere thanks to the team at The Creative Practice Lab (CPL) – Su, Mark, Paul, Estee and Gordon and to Chris Page. A big thank you to friends and family who have supported me through the PhD process and as an artist. To Nola Farman, Neil Simpson and Richard Manner, along with David Nerlich – thanks for your insights along the way. Thanks to services from Pip Robinson at Chameleon Touring and Bob Chen at BSV Tyre Recycling. I am indebted to my PhD supervisors, Associate Professor Andrew Murphie (SAM, UNSW) and Associate Professor Anna Munster (CoFA, UNSW) for their enduring help, insight and guidance.

Artist Biography

Kate Richards is a long standing Sydney media artist who has been innovating with film, video and interactive multimedia for 25 years. Kate has shown solo and collaborative works in Australia and internationally, including at ACMI, The Performance Space, ISEA Helsinki, ISEA Sydney, The Museum of Sydney, The Sydney Opera House and The Australian Centre for Photography. grove is a new solo work that crystallises Kate's latest research into audience affects, which deepens and draws on her experience and versatility in moving audiences in media arts installations and events.

Kate’s recent art works include the solo pieces ‘Underworld’ a peephole diorama for AGNSW Contempo Group 2014; 'Travels in Beautiful Desolation - Gondwana', a galaxy-in-a-games-engine, at DreamWorlds in Beijing and China in 2010 and the multi-channel video ‘Unhomely’ (collaboration with Ross Gibson and Aaron Seymour) for the International Symposium of Electronic Art Sydney 2013. Kate's ground breaking collaborations include the pre-eminent Australian database imaginaries project, 'Life After Wartime' (with Ross Gibson 1999-ongoing), the live-streamed gaming and social engagement project 'Wayfarer' (with Martyn Coutts 2007-2009 voted one of the top 10 “simple, brilliant initiatives, enterprises and ideas that get on with the job of triggering and networking public association for public good” by influential blogger David Barrie in 2008) and the live video and roller derby data event 'Bloodbath' in association with the Sydney Roller Derby League which premiered at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion in 2011 (with Linda Dement, Sarah Waterson, Nancy Mauro Flude and Francesca di Rimini).

Kate's creative and consultancy work with live performance and new media see her leading in the emerging field of ‘new media dramaturgy’ (‘Red Iris live’ 1999, ‘LAW Live with The Necks’ 2003, ‘Wayfarer’ 2007, ‘Ama and Chan’ 2010, ‘Encoded’ 2012). As a multimedia producer (as Sparke Media, for artists such as Barbara Campbell and Brad Miller, and cultural sector clients including The Noble Museum, The Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Grace Hotels) and as a teacher (currently as co-ordinator of the first post graduate degree in media convergence in Masters of Convergent Media at UWS) Kate has inspired and mentored dozens of media and cultural workers.

Kate Richards is supported by the University of Western Sydney (School of Humanities and Communication Arts, MARCS Institute and the Digital Humanities Research Group) where she is senior lecturer, and by the UNSW Australia, School of the Arts and Media where she is a PhD candidate. grove is previewing here as her major work for this practice-led PhD.

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