After a little over a year I have returned to the febrile atmosphere of the University of Leeds’ School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. It’s very exciting, pretty daunting and completely exhausting. However, among the seminars on Social Art History, the induction to the on-line tracking systems and the research support groups there have been a couple of artist’s talks. This week Richard Forster came in to explain a little about his motivations, process and history. Rooted in his drawing practice that emerges from long hours of solitude, Richard takes a melancholic look at the world slipping past. His interests include East German ‘Ostalgie’, archaic heavy industry, modernist housing projects and the seascape at Saltburn on the east coast – where he now lives.
His hesitant, though personal and engaging talk painted a picture of someone politally engaged and thoroughly versed in contemporary art theory yet plowing his own, at times lonely, furrow. He had lived in London through much of the early nineties but had, by his own admission, played the part of the ‘awkward and contradictory northerner’. I was particularly interested in his work addressing the built environment and the unique qualities of his pencil drawings, that after twenty years of endeavour have brought him widespread recognition.
Housing, Hackney. Levittown, US.