David Rickard: Landfall / 30 June - 6 August 2022
The word ‘Landfall’ refers to the arrival on land from the sea and also the instability of the land itself within a landslide or rockfall.
Landfall, brings together new work by David Rickard to offer re-readings of our place between fluid boundaries, navigating our shifting status within ocean currents, political turmoil, and quantum waves.
In constant movement across the gallery floor ‘Flotsam’ is a flock of world mapped globes, migrating from wall to wall as they pivot on their polar axis before colliding with each other and ricocheting in new directions. With the globes originating from different locations and eras, they embody an array of world views. However, beyond the multiple cultures and histories imprinted on their surfaces is the suggestion of multiple worlds existing in parallel. In the 1950’s Hugh Everett proposed the ‘Many Worlds Interpretation’ to reconcile incompatible elements of quantum physics. This novel, yet possible, theory proposes that all possible outcomes of quantum measurements are physically realised in some “world” or universe. As such, our reality is perhaps just one of many parallel and constantly splitting universes.
The splitting of realities feels like an increasingly lived experience with respective news coverage from nation states constructing strikingly different scenarios from the same events. Meanwhile the UK is also living through its own narrative as we adjust to a new, more politically distant relationship with Europe. The fluid nature of borders and the restricted movement of people and goods is explored within the ‘Channels’ watercolours. Made using water from the narrowest point in the Channel, these paintings combine depictions of the sea at the point where the samples were collected. Overlaid with text abstracted from UK newspaper headlines during the height of Brexit negotiations, new and multiple readings are carried by the words as they float, detached from their original articles, adrift on choppy water.
Thinking further about boundaries, trade and misgovernance, ‘Empire’ an original 1865 map of the British territory has been carefully erased so that the land masses and trade routes become faint memories between the remaining oceans that connect them. As history has shown, Empires are perhaps more fluid than the oceans that helped create them. While working with water more locally, the large monochrome ‘Night-shift’ draws its moisture directly from the gallery air during the nightly labour of a dehumidifier. Tinted with black pigment the extracted water is painted daily onto a canvas, gradually darkening the painting with each layer of liquid captured from the gallery environment and its visitors until the exhibition closes and the work is complete.
‘We move in circles’ traces the flow of aluminium in a looping orbit made by bicycle tire marks in sand. After forming the tire tracks, the bicycle has been disassembled, melted, and poured into the sand impression to trace its previous movement. This self-reflexive loop of material brings us full circle to the orbits within which we exist, from our daily routines and the revolution of our planet to the spin of quantum particles upon which all matter is built.
Landfall questions our perception of place within the interwoven narratives of science and politics. It is a boundary in flux between the constant movement of waves and the sudden jolt when gravity shakes our foundations.
 Quantum systems exist in superpositions (waveforms), however when a measurement is made, the wave function collapses - from an observer's perspective - to just one of the basis states, and the property being measured uniquely acquires a particular state. Everett didn’t agree that measurement causes quantum matter to stop behaving in multiple forms. Instead, he argued that observation creates a split in the universe and therefore all possible outcomes are physically realised.
 Quantum particles have an intrinsic angular momentum component known as ‘spin’, (i.e. electrons are either ½ positive or ½ negative spin)
The exhibition runs 30 June Wed - Sat, 12 - 6pm
until 6 August 2022
David Rickard is a New Zealand born artist who lives and works in London, UK. Following a degree in architecture he went on to study art at Accademia di Brera in Milan and Central Saint Martins in London. His original studies in architecture have had a lasting impact on his art practice. Through a process-based practice his works investigate the inherent material properties of our surrounding environment and the spatial relationships between people, objects and architecture.
Constantly moving along a fine line between sculpture and performance, art and physics, Rickard’s work engages the viewer as an active player. Once the artist has established a trajectory, a combination of necessity and chance takes place, making the ordinary extraordinary and generating new readings of our surroundings.
For more information about the artist please click here