Oliver Sears Gallery is pleased to announce the forthcoming debut solo exhibition of new work by Belfast born, artist, Laurence Riddell.
Entitled Enclose Riddell has produced a series of charcoal studies, works on paper and oil paintings motivated by his lifelong fascination with the horse. At differing moments the imagery shifts focus from the anatomical to the mythical to the stage dramatic. Each scene presents an intimacy particular to portraiture while the handling of brush and paint bring life and light to a subject notoriously difficult to master. All the more remarkable when you learn that the horses are drawn from the artist’s memory.
Laurence Riddell was born in Belfast in 1960. His first interest as a keen amateur jockey was curtailed as he continued to grow past the strict limitations of the profession, Riddell instead graduated in Fine Art in 1988 from the University of Ulster. In 1989 he began a twenty-five year career as a lecturer at the Institute of Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire.
Since 2003 research interests concerning the thoroughbred horse led Riddell to a 12 month residency at the world renowned Kildangan Stud in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare. The resulting work formed the basis of an exhibition, titled ‘Provenance’, at the Newbridge Art Centre, Kildare in 2005. Collaboration with the School of Veterinary Medicine at University College Dublin and the Irish Equine Centre, Kildare enabled further development of specific areas of research initiated while on residency at Kildangan.
Current work draws from this research providing an opportunity to re-examine and re-evaluate work that was carried out during this period. The outcome is a series of works, a combination of staged and ambiguous imagery, that are more reflective than observed in their nature. Through drawing and painting the work is suggestive in its interpretation of the horse and confinement in which these animals exist.