Rich White makes installation works about location, sense of place and the relationships that develop between people and their environment. Key aspects of his practice are resonance and discovery. Works are informed by research of the locality, dictated by architecture and space, and through the uncovering of stories of identity, memory, place and history. These findings provide context, with the form and narrative of the work resonating with the location and the viewer. The work also provides a sense of discovery; the installations are immersive and interactive, inviting the viewer to explore, travel, climb and reposition themselves in order to fully engage with the work.
We asked Rich the following questions:
Who are you?
Hello, how are you?
I’m very excited and quite busy.
What do you do?
I’m a sculptor.
What have you been doing recently?
I’ve been preparing for Art Across the City, preparing for an exhibition in Plymouth and I’ve also begun a project in Peterborough.
What are you doing for Art Across the City in Swansea?
I’m building a wall out of furniture between the old and new parts of the National Waterfront Museum.
What are your ideas behind the work?
There’s a lot of strong feelings for how Swansea used to be, and new developments and buildings are often met with hostility or objection. Over time, however, feelings can change and we can learn of the benefits of these new structures or we can find ways to make use of them for ourselves. Sometimes these changes are never accepted.
The wall, apparently hastily erected using whatever happened to be at hand, is a resistance to the new – defending the old part of the museum from the modern part. However it has softened and a tunnel has appeared through it, allowing people to pass if they want.
What do you think the public will make of it?
I hope they will enjoy exploring the structure and walking around and through it. There’s a physical act involved in engaging with the work as it offers you choices: Which side do you prefer? Do you want to pass through it, or do you remain on one side?