Kelly Richardson: Legion
2 February – 14 April 2013 at Towner
Canadian artist Kelly Richardson unleashes the hyper-real at Towner this February with a new international solo exhibition of highly charged landscapes in ‘Legion’.
Using large scale video installations, Richardson is one of the leading, new-generation of artists working with hyper-real digital technologies, combining the real and imagined to visually arresting effect.
Regarded as one of the most exciting people working in her medium today, Richardson’s international tour comes to Eastbourne from 2 February to 14 April, with Towner being just one of three UK galleries chosen to display the exhibition before its debut in the United States and Canada.
Each of Richardson’s works take months of painstaking labour to create. She starts by filming some of the world’s most spectacular wildernesses and then uses digital technology and animation to distort them, until they appear foreboding and other-worldly.
Encompassing an array of possible futures, the theme of a dystopian post-apocalyptic world runs throughout, reflecting our current environmental unease and creating a delicate tension between the beautiful and the ominous.
Walking through Legion is an utterly immersive experience. Expect to be transported from radioactive swamps concealing a suggestion of unanticipated life (Leviathan), to a dense forest, confronted with the green spectre of a stag – a majestic forest sentinel who may have been the victim of a nuclear catastrophe (Twilight Avenger).
Amongst the dense multi-screen forestscape of ‘The Great Destroyer’, your ears attune to a series of unnatural noises which punctuate the sounds of the wild – gunshots, chainsaws, car alarms and the clicks of a camera shutter: the calls of the mating lyrebird, who imitates the noises of his natural habitat. We can only assume that the ‘great destroyer’ is us.
This Towner exhibition is the third and final UK leg of a major international tour which initiated at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, supported by Arts Council England and the Canada Council. Kelly Richardson will then tour solo shows to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York and the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver.
Legion opens from 2 February to 14 April, open from 10am to 5pm (Tuesday to Sunday) and entry is free. For more information visit www.townereastbourne.org.uk .