For our first exhibition in our new premises, FRED is delighted to present the first solo show by Ryan Riddington. Riddington is a young British artist who studied Sculpture at Loughborough University and more recently at The Slade, London, graduating in 2010.
Riddington’s’ work has always explored the relationship between sculpture and the body, often resulting in the marriage of objects he has made, and his own body presented as photographs. During his time at The Slade, he also explored public spaces, and how the body interacted with the furniture he encountered.
In Foil, 2010, (panel framed lambda print) and Mantle, 2010, (panel framed lambda print) Riddington actually took the sofa in his studio, disassembled it and recreated it, as two garments which he then wore. The sofa reads as a kind of deconstructed masculinity, as if the smoking room or library chesterfield has literally become the man.
More recent works include a series of “Comfort Drawings” which depict blankets, the kind kept in cars for journeys, here rendered in pencil and wax crayon. The paper, through the way it has been worked, drawn on and manipulated becomes sculptural. Taking on the shape of the fabric is depicts.
The starting place for these works is a form of pure sculptural practice, Riddington observes objects in the everyday and remakes their meanings through his actions. But what of the figure of the artist? He often appears masked or cloaked in the objects he has created, or facing away from the viewer. He presents his vulnerability as if looking, through his explorations of the objects and spaces he inhabits, for a place to rest.