Education: Kingswood College
Tertiary: Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town
Born in the small town of Humansdorp, outside Port Elizabeth, I developed a keen interest in wildlife from an early age. I had a passion for nature, and the yearning to plant seeds and see nature unfurl. I complied scrap books full of pictures of wildlife as I marvelled at the unique nature of the worlds around up.
My studies in the field of Horticulture led to close proximity to plants and the beauty that they hold. I have managed large estates, and over the last 12 years have been part of a project to design the of an historical National Monument Manor in the Cape. This has provided me with much inspiration as it allowed me to take nature as my teacher and guide.
The remarkable complexity of engineering in all-natural form, be it human, plant or animal is often disregarded by a casual observer. As an artist I seek to understand these structures and interpret them in a unique way while retaining a respect for natural appearance.
A visit to Italy afforded me the opportunity to study and admire the great 16th century renaissance masters; Michelangelo and Botticelli and the multi-talented 17th century Bernini who designed the dramatic piazza and Baldaachino of St Peters Cathedral in Rome. The visionary power of these artist’s works has captured my imagination. I marvelled at how they cut in stone using a hammer and chisel, leaving no room for mistakes. I visited the galleries and sculpture gardens of Europe taking note of the statuary and the formal role it played in the design of an environment.
Further visits to ancient Cambodian ruins, remote Tibetan villages, modern day public spaces, and places of worship opened a world of possibilities in my mind. The values of many cultures retained, recorded and immortalised in stone.
I yearned to emulate the style of the old masters and further my interest in sculpture. Sculpting animals was a natural choice. I began by modelling these in clay and wax. When I was satisfied, I took the sculpture to a foundry where it was possible to make a mould and cast the work in bronze.
Being very analytical, meticulous and systematic, I find visualising three-dimensions quite easy. I photograph a subject from different angles and envision the composition in my mind. As I work, I make changes as it is of great importance to me to ensure that the soul of the subject is captured, and that the face reflects life, showing personality in the eyes.
Richard works out of a studio in his home in the Noordhoek Valley
The Ifluence of the Earth - The Cape Gallery, 2020