Interview: Richard Dykes

Richard DykesRichard Dykes, Memories of Things Unseen

Interview: Richard Dykes

Luca Curci talks with artist Richard Dykes during Contemporary Venice EXTENDED exhibition in Venice on January 2015.

Richard Dykes own journey into art has not been one that has come out of art collage. His initial degree was in psychology and he has also studied art history. His psychology studies have influenced his art and his history of art experience has meant that he has studied various artists and styles. Throughout there has developed within him an interest in why people do the things they do, how everyone has an interesting story to tell, and how traditional stories and folk tales are people’s collective memories.

Richard DykesRichard Dykes, ReEnchantment 

Luca Curci – Your work has been exhibited during Contemporary Venice EXTENDED exhibition in Venice on January 2015: can you talk about your personal experience in Venice with International ArtExpo?

Richard Dykes – I cannot answer this as, unfortunately, I was unable to attend the exhibition personally. However I liked the images I was send regarding the exhibition.

Richard DykesRichard Dykes, ReEnchantment 

L. C. – Can you talk about the artwork you presented in Venice? How is it linked with the festival’s theme?  
    
R. D. – I was initially attracted to the exhibition by the the theme Hybrid Bodies and the image presented. I liked the concept contained in the word Hybrid which encapsulated the sort of work I have been trying to produce over the last few years. I presented a video entitled ReEnchantment. which mixed traditional fairy tales with modern real events around the darker themes that fairy tales explore. Also I like to use contemporary dances who explore the themes I suggest. ReEnchantment was an interesting project for me as it challenged me in producing a longer video that intertwined various styles and ideas and also represented a journey of exploration into the main theme; that is, how do we understand someone who commits an extreme act of violence. I had explored this interweaving of stories  in a previous video called, Memories of Things Unseen, where again the dancers took up various themes and  the individual memories and traditional folk tails formed the soundscape while the dancers explored each idea based on one of the traditional tales.

Richard DykesRichard Dykes, ReEnchantment 

L. C. – What are you currently working on?

R. D. – I am currently working on themes related to the body, in particular how those ideas came into being during the nineteen century. For this I will return to painting and drawing, but also continue to work with video and film. When I was working with ReEnchantment the one story that interested me the most was that of Beauty and the Beast, and I imagined the story through the eyes of someone suffering from dysmorphia where the beauty and the beast can be encapsulated as one and same person. I became intrigued as to where this neurosis developed within society and began reading the attitudes that were developing in the 19th Century. Again I am using dancers to explore different ideas. But this time I will develop these ideas through painting and drawing as well photography and video. I also want to make a film using the dancers more as characters so that the film will have a different narrative structure. I will base these characters on actual people alive during the mid-nineteenth century. I also want to explore drawing with the video coupled with the dancer’s movement.
    
Richard DykesRichard Dykes, ReEnchantment 

L. C. – What is art for you?

R. D. – For me art is about people, and it is an exploration of their thoughts. That is why I enjoy working collaboratively with the various dancers as I feel we have a similar way  of working. We are bombarded today with some much imagery and styles, for me art is about exploring below the surface of those images.
    
Richard DykesRichard Dykes, ReEnchantment 

L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo organization?

R. D. – I am finding this a great opportunity to show my work. I also like the images that I have seen of other artist’s work.

Richard DykesRichard Dykes, ReEnchantment 

L. C. – Do you think International ArtExpo organization can represent an opportunity for artists?

R. D. – I feel it can as, although it has themes and suggested lengths of video, I was able to show a longer video which I felt I would not have the opportunity to do so outside of events I had organised independently. Also it is great to be able to exhibit to a wider audience. I have found it motivational.

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