London Art Reviews

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Sophy Rickett – “Auditorium and selected works” at Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery

Video installation of Glyndebourne by Sophy Rickett

Sophy Rickett – “Auditorium and selected works” at Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery.

“Video installation shot in Glyndebourne”

Jack Newhouse – July 2011

Sophy Rickett likes dimension, light and the artistic side of them. The exhibition “Auditorium and selected works”, at Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery, Mayfair, London, presents a video installation and some of her earlier works.

‘Auditorium’ is a video installation made in collaboration with Ed Hughes. It is shot at the opera house in Glyndebourne, Sussex, and it focuses particularly on stage mechanics and lighting. The video uses subtle and reduced movements to emphasise lights and shadows of the building. ‘Landscape’ an early series from her, also on display at Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery, uses a similar theme but in outdoor environment.

The focal point of Sophy Rickett work is the movement of the light, its up-and-down, and the effects the contraction and the expansion of the luminosity produces which goes together with the up -and-down of the mechanics of the opera house backstage. It reminds nature cycles, birth-death, seasons, natural phenomenon movements such as seawater, wind or night and day, and of course light and shadow. But also connected with human body: stand up -sit down, walking with a young straight back or old-curved, with an additional subtle, sexual but hidden hint.

But Sophy Rickett has a very special interest also in dimensions and in rendering the tri -dimensional reality with the available bi-dimensional media. This is a timeless art issue as the lack of technology allows artists to express using bi-dimensional means, such as video or prints, when real life is in three dimensions. Rickett work highlights the flatness of video and of photographs.

As part of the Sophy Rickett production “Auditorium and selected works” is offbeat. The artist, in fact, explores new trends in contemporary photography which, instead, follows a realist approach.

Sophy Rickett is born in London (22 September 1970). Between 1990 and 1993, Rickett studied for a BA (Hons) in Photography at London College of Communication, London. Rickett’s work came to prominence in the late 90s, following her graduation from The Royal College of Art, London in the Summer of 1999.

One of her earliest works, Vauxhall Bridge, depicted Rickett urinating standing up while attired in expensive feminine clothes, against the backdrop of Terry Farrell’s iconic SIS building at Vauxhall Cross. It was reviewed in Creative Camera magazine in 1996. Some people saw the “Pissing Women” series as a satire of male behaviour, though many did not know the women were genuinely urinating. Sophy Rickett stated in the interview “this was something I did,” and the photographs were not manipulated.

One of her earliest works, ‘Vauxhall Bridge’, was a shocking series depicting Rickett herself urinating standing up while attired in high-priced feminine clothes. Sophy Rickett has been awarded many times. Her works are present in collections and museums worldwide including, Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Government Art Collection (UK), Musee des Beaux-Arts (Nantes, France), Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK) and MART (Trento, Italy).

She has been part of solo and group exhibitions in venues worldwide renowned including La Biennale di Venezia (Venezia, Italy), Nichido Contemporary Art (Tokyo, Japan), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Courtauld Institute (London, UK), Galleria Civica, Modena (Modena, Italy), Museum der bildenden Künste (Leipzig, Germany), Estorick Collection (London, UK) Il Museo di Trento (Trento, Italy), Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK), Kunsthalle Münster (Münster, Germany) and Musee des Beaux-Arts (Nantes, France).

‘Auditorium’ was commissioned by Photoworks, Glyndebourne Education and De La Warr Pavilion. Showing at Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery, Mayfair, London, from 7th July to 27th August 2011.

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