Elvis Richardson – Settlement and the Gatekeepers

12 November to 9 December 2020

Artist Statement

Settlement and the Gatekeepers is a suite of new works using painted metal and photography that expand upon previous iterations of Settlement 2016 investigating the aesthetics and personalities found in domestic interiors and access to the Australian dream of home ownership.

The Gatekeepers are metal security door inserts that hang like paintings sitting proud of the gallery wall, adorned with flat panels that peel back underlying more gate designs and texts. Colour is used to create a lively rhythm of relationships in which lines and textures are flattened to represent the thinnest of barriers that separates surface from substrate to query; am I in, or am I out.

Settlement #2 and #3 are modified residential exterior gates with the word Settlement incorporated into the gate itself united by a joyfully feminine candy pink blush surface which overpowers the weight and gravity expressed in bends and slumps of metal. Settlement in Relief digital ink jet prints push the barrier affect further applying a visual illusion of embossing where textures and surfaces of domestic interiors recede and advance to create the image and almost forensically elicit sensations of touch. Hot Flush a set of cast bronze plaques of a carved relief profile of Queen Elizabeth II familiar to us all on commonwealth coins; show me the money.

These new works combined with 6 paintings from the Artist Lifestyle 2018 series, enamel on aluminum in colourful shapes featuring the text – Artist Lifestyle – which is reshuffled into anagrams on each panel generating a narrative of clues that seem to speak directly to the contested social and economic value of art and the role of being an artist today, they ask; is the Artist lifestyle for you?