Rich White’s current work involves physically altering (or appearing to alter) existing architecture in public and exhibition spaces. These architectural interventions are developed specifically for their location through research and site visits; responding to the architecture, history and current happenings in the area.
Through this he creates a narrative or story that evokes the collective subconscious – a visual reference that seeks to provoke thoughts about the location by drawing on elements of the locale. The final work often takes a simple form or pattern of structure that resonates with the viewer through its unexpected familiarity.
The work is built on-site often from materials found or reclaimed in the vicinity and integrated into the existing architecture. Afterwards the materials are recycled or returned for reuse. This conveys a connection to its location and influences its development. The work is at the whim of the materials he can find and at the mercy of their limitations.
Rich’s aim is always to create something which speaks of, and to, the location it is created in. The creation of journeys, unexpected experiences and the revelation of forgotten facts or facets is at the core of his work. He achieves this through finding and creating resonant forms. He tries to uncover stories, little-known histories, anecdotes and personal recollections about locations, and from these develop sculptures or installations that allow viewers to explore and experience the narrative.
His approach to materials is playful and often ironic. He likes to use everyday materials found in the vicinity; discarded or surplus cardboard, leftover or used paper, and timber reclaimed from skips or building sites. He repurposes these materials, sometimes for a use that is the opposite of their usual application or which renders them absurdly useless. This use of locally sourced material further enhances the connection between the work and the location.
Rich exhibits widely nationally and internationally. His work is sought after and he has won several commissions. He has also been a Fine Art lecturer, artist’s assistant to Andrew Sabin, Laura Ford and Annie Cattrell; and a gallery manager and technician at Furtherfield.org. He studied Fine Art (Sculpture) at the University of Gloucestershire and graduated with a BA (Hons) in 1998.