Richard Bartle

Richard Bartle

Artist, Maker, Arts administrator

As a child learning to swim I used to have nightmares about the drain hole at the bottom of the swimming pool, not helped I may add by that horror story about that girl who got her arm stuck and was sucked in to the pipe. These are the feelings and personal stories that my new works have grown from, they are an evolving and expanding journey through a my own memory banks to seek out the uncanny moment, they are not necessarily autobiographical more about those things in life that are worth sharing. They are a return to a textured, playful, and tactile practice, A return to colour for the sake of colour, to the very essence of structure and form and material. These new works represent a deep shift in my own personal artistic journey towards that which I always loved about art, especially painting: substance, pleasure, playfulness and vibrancy. 

Under the bridge is the working title for an ongoing series of paintings, works on paper, and sculptures that tap in to my experiences of the aquatic. From one of my earliest memories of standing in the middle of a seaside paddling pool, so adamant that I was not leaving I went blue before my mother rescued me. Through to my childhood experiences learning to swim and the time I was swimming in a reservoir and watched as the friend besides me sank into the darkness. Right through to my time scuba diving days, both as a sport and a career, and the events that eventually led me to art college - such as fishing net entangled ship wrecks, violent sea storms, welders flash, and a sudden realization that swimming down rope with a carrier bag full of dynamite was not necessarily a good life plan!

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Location Sheffield, Yorkshire
Activities Residencies, Private commissions