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Works From The Water’s Edge. RICHARD WINCER


With special thanks to Matthew Houlding at Studio 2 for making this exhibition possible.

Cover Image: Creel. 2017. Exhibition curated by: Matthew Houlding Photography by: George Oliver Catalogue designed by: George Oliver


RICHARD WINCER Wor ks Fr om T he Water’s Edge Sculptures 2016 - 2017

Studio 2 Robinwood Mill Burnley Road Todmorden OL14 8JA


RICHARD WINCER

Ri chard Wi ncer wi th Key t o t he S ea a nd Ja cket

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WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E INTRODUCTION Fenella Crichton

Richard Wincer is an unusual artist these days. He is

attention. It was raw and odd and powerful – the kind of

someone who not only believes in the power of art to

work which may have made some people uncomfortable

transfigure the everyday world but requires his work to

but which was not easy to forget.

do it. I first encountered his work in the mid-eighties, more than a decade after he had left Goldsmith’s, which

Stepping inside his Hut on the terrace of the Hayward

was just beginning to acquire its reputation as a hot

was to enter a space which felt as if it had been sealed

house for the avant-garde. Wincer was never going to be

off from the twentieth century.

part of that set but nevertheless his work was noticed

a preternatural world, seemingly dredged from the

by several influential members of the art world. In 1980

beginning of time. In the centre stood a pedestal bearing a

he was included in the Summer Show at the Serpentine

Tree of Life, that ancient symbol of the interconnectness

Gallery, chosen by Tony Carter, which at that time was

of all things living. Unlike many representations which

an important showcase for young artists emerging on the

show a gnarled old tree, his tree seemed young. It was

scene. A few years later he was included in The Sculpture

simple and straight with only a few branches with serried

Show at the Hayward at a time when young British

rows of pointed leaves. It was a little like a candelabra,

Sculpture was very much in the news. Much of the work

or at least had a ceremonial feel about it. Around the

in that show was entertaining and some of it can be seen

walls were painted isolated naked figures standing in a

as prefiguring what came to be known as postmodern

desert landscape, while beneath them shadowy fish swam

irony. The fact that Wincer’s work was so unlike anything

in their parallel world of water.

else there was just one of the reasons why it attracted 5

Inside was conjured


RICHARD WINCER

A couple of years later he took a job as a window cleaner

wore a similar jacket of leaves but, rather charmingly, an

and used what many would consider to be a monotonous

ordinary shirt underneath.

way of earning a living as a springboard to create some astonishing figures. The Three Shiners are clad in

The original title of the oak leaf jacket was The Englishness

overalls. They have block-like feet and brandish creased

of English Art, which makes clear how the artist places

lumps, which are more like rocks that cleaning cloths.

himself within the tradition of English art, which is

Each face is different but the features are all primitive

rooted in a response to the natural world. The glory

and impassive and each is surrounded by a decorative

of the oak tree is self-evident and it is not surprising

circlet depicting the sun, the moon and the stars. Part

that other places in the world also see it as a symbol of

gods, part proletarian workers, these figures recalled the

strength and endurance. It had a special place in Greek

buffoonery of Alfred Jarry, without the viciousness.

mythology: deemed sacred to Zeus, the priests at his oracle would seek to divine the god’s pronouncements

Included in the same show was a work which is arguably

by listening to the rustling of the leaves. It does not

the most spectacular thing he has made. The Gold Oak

seem fanciful to see these golden leaves as also having a

Leaf Jacket is what it says it is: a jacket made of oak

magical quality. This jacket is unlike anything else I have

leaves which have been dipped in resin and then painted

seen made by a contemporary artist. It is a triumphant

a soft gold. It would belong to a man larger than normal

and beautiful object.

but it has been hung on a wire hanger and then encased in a dark wooden box. The effect is at once medieval and

When he left London and moved to Hebden Bridge, he

fiercely modern. In the version of Hut, which he showed

realised that it was the countryside that was most likely

at the Garden festival at Stoke on Trent, a glittering figure

to allow him access to the kind of spiritual truthfulness 6


WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

which he found imperative. He found a way of tapping

crescendo of Tidal Wave which becomes a world of its

into that deep resource of

own, peopled by huge fish and a small church.

feelings accumulated

throughout his life, starting when he was a child exploring the countryside in Worcestershire.

He has always loved fishing and will go off for the day whenever he can. He likes the solitariness of it; there is

As an artist, Richard produces paintings and woodcuts

nothing to distract him from where he is and what he is

alongside his work as a sculptor. Water recurs in the

doing. In an earlier piece of sculpture, he carved a large

paintings and is seen as a powerful and at times potentially

fishing net with a hooked fish, twisting wildly within it.

destructive force. He makes us aware of the sense of life

At the top stands the fisherman, who is the same size as

within it and the varying strength of its flow. Woodcuts

the fish. They are joined mouth to mouth, so that the

are a well-established genre in the British Romantic

line becomes a kind of umbilical cord. This piece seems

tradition and it is one that suits his talents very well.

to encapsulate the strength to be gained from looking at

He is a craftsman and in many ways it seems that wood

his work; it enhances our awareness of the state of being

is his most natural medium. The painstaking process of

alive. This is what art can do for us and we should make

carving the image onto the surface of the wood, before

the most of it.

inking up, seems curiously well suited to conveying the emotional impact of his imagination. A single fish makes

Fenella Crichton.

its way through the water, the grain of the wood vividly

Writer and Critic

suggesting the shadows of the surrounding depths. Most memorable is the way in which the natural circles which show the growth of a tree have been used to create the 7


RICHARD WINCER

R i cha r d Wi ncer with C r eel

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WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E FOREWORD Louise Oliver

I walked into Studio 2 and found that it had come alive

They have the feel of a drawing as well as a sculpture, a

with Works From The Water’s Edge, an exhibition of

painting as well as a garment. They are everyday magic

Richard Wincer’s carved and painted wooden sculptures.

relics, simple and intricate, wooden and expressive, raw

It felt warm and welcoming, rather like entering

and yet finely-tuned, playful and also deeply felt. They

someone’s home while they’re out, with remnants of

are wholesome, authentic and altogether delightful.

their inner and their outer life dotted around, or else visiting a small museum in a remote outpost and stepping

Visit them if you can.

in out of the cold. It was like arriving at an intersection between worlds, where everything is both subtle and

Louise Oli ver.

dense at the same time. The tang of wood was seeping

Ar tist and Writer

through the air and the sculptures offered a sturdy company, yet I seemed to be enveloped by a much less tangible presence. Somehow elusive glimpses of memory are carved and captured in these objects, which are like characters in a timeless story. They seem to hum their creaky song, tell their splintered stories, release their grainy memories and reveal their knotty dreams. They are at one and the same time homely and exotic, delicate and robust, naive and sophisticated, light and weighty. 9


RICHARD WINCER

R i cha r d Wi ncer with Bo a t

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WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E A RT I S T ’ S S TA T E M E N T Richard Wincer

The works included in the exhibition at Studio 2 were

blocks produced for woodcut to be interesting objects

produced during 2016 and 2017.

in their own right.

In the summer of

The techniques used in woodcut

2014, IOU commissioned me to make carved wooden

involve cutting the image into a wooden surface. This

scenes for a project called Fulcrum. IOU is a company

is comparable to carving and sculpting. It occurred to

with an international reputation for producing live

me that that the disciplines of painting, sculpture and

shows and art installations and Fulcrum included film,

printmaking could be combined into one object. This

sculpture, animation, performance and kinetic dioramas.

resulted in me making some ‘sculpted paintings’ and I

I constructed scenes from wooden panels, which I then

included the stretcher bars in the finished work. Thinking

carved and stained to produce these dioramas of small

Man was the first of these and then quickly followed by

town life with its surrounding countryside. As I created

The Stretcher Maker

these scenes, I began to have ideas for new sculptures and woodcarvings and I made brief preparatory pencil

The full-sized Jacket was constructed using a sewing-

sketches. At this time my studio was only really large

pattern and then individual pieces of beech wood

enough for me to produce paintings, so I soon took the

were carved to fit the pattern pieces. These were then

opportunity to move to a larger space where these initial

painstakingly sewn together to make the final garment.

sketches could be developed. I quickly began working to

It involved many months of work, which I could never

make these sculptures a reality.

rush. This slow process of construction proved to be common to all the objects.

As a printmaker, I have always found the wooden

The relatively small Hat

determined its own pace and I began to get accustomed 11


RICHARD WINCER

to a new way of working. Rural landscape, particularly scenes near water and fishing are a recurring theme in my work, which stem from my childhood experiences in rural Worcestershire and from my involvement with wild places as a fisherman. Sculptures such as Key to the Sea, Creel and Fishing Tackle are all examples of these influences. I see the artist as a fisherman raising images and work from the watery depths of the unconscious. I have always felt the two activities to be related to each other. In creativity we are confronted with contemplation of the depths and what lies beneath the surface. Works From The Water’s Edge is a collection of objects that are all interrelated and influenced by each other. The works seemed to flow from one to another easily as I created them. It felt natural and right. I have the feeling that I have waded into a new river of creativity and things are flowing freely. Richard Wincer Artist 12


WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

Wor ks Fr om T he Water’s Edge

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RICHARD WINCER

Ma n A b ou t Tow n . 20 1 6 .

C a r ved a n d S ta i n ed Wo o d H . 1 1 8 x W. 1 0 2 x D. 7 cm 14


WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

Detai l 1

D eta i l 2

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RICHARD WINCER

Ja cket. 2017.

C a r ved a n d S ta i n ed Wo o d H . 7 6 x W. 6 6 x D. 4 3 cm 16


WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

Detai l 1

D eta i l 2

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RICHARD WINCER

K ey to th e Sea . 2016.

C a r ved a n d S ta i n ed Wo o d H . 9 0 x L . 1 6 0 x D. 8 cm

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WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

Detai l 1

D eta i l 2

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RICHARD WINCER

T h e Str etch er Ma ker. 2016.

C a r ved a n d S ta i n ed Wo o d H . 9 7 x W. 1 3 0 x D. 7 cm 20


WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

T h i n k i n g Ma n . 2016.

C a r ved a n d S ta i n ed Wo o d H . 4 7 x W. 5 2 x D. 4 cm 21


RICHARD WINCER

B a n n er. 2017.

C a r ved a n d S ta i n ed Wo o d H . 8 6 x W. 1 2 2 x D. 6 cm

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WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

Detai l 1

D eta i l 2

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RICHARD WINCER

B oa t. 2017.

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WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

B oa t. 2017.

C a r ved a n d S ta i n ed Wo o d H . 5 4 x W. 4 2 x L . 7 4 cm

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RICHARD WINCER

H a t. 2016.

C a r ved a n d S ta i n ed Wo o d H . 1 6 x W. 3 7 x L . 5 0 cm

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WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

Detai l 1

D eta i l 2

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RICHARD WINCER

C r eel. 2017.

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WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

C r eel. 2017.

C a r ved a n d S ta i n ed Wo o d H . 3 4 x W. 2 8 x D. 3 0 cm

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RICHARD WINCER

F i sh i n g Ta ck le. 20 1 7 .

C a r ved a n d S ta i n ed Wo o d , Ro p e a n d L ea d H . 1 8 0 x W. 8 0 x D. 1 0 cm 30


WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

Detai l 1

D eta i l 2

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RICHARD WINCER

La n d sca p e. 2016.

C a r ved a n d S ta i n ed Wo o d H . 3 0 x W. 4 0 x D. 3 cm

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WO R K S F RO M T H E WAT E R ’ S E D G E

Detai l 1

D eta i l 2

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RICHARD WINCER www.richardwincer.co.uk rwincer@gmail.com BORN 1951

Alvechurch, Worcestershire.

STUDIED 1970-71 1971-74 1978

Stourbridge College of Art. Goldsmiths College, London. Goldsmiths College, London

AWARDS 1974 1978 1981 2005

B.A. Fine Art. First Class Hons. Art Teachers Certificate. Greater London Arts Association, Financial Award. Arts Council Financial Award.

TEACHING Visiting Lecturer at: De Montfort University, Leicester. University of Brighton. Goldsmiths College, London. Slade School of Fine Art, London. Leeds College of Art. 34


EXHIBITIONS 1978 1980 1982 1983 1984 1986 1989 1990 1992 1993 1994

Three Artists, Kettles Yard, Cambridge. Summer Show, Serpentine Gallery, London. Prophecy and Vision, Arnolfini, Bristol. Third Eye Centre, Glasgow. Camden Arts Centre, London. Orchard Gallery, Londonderry. The Sculpture Show, Hayward, Gallery. London. Whitechapel Open, London. Stoke on Trent Garden Festival. Axiom Centre, Cheltenham. Critics Space, Air Gallery, London. Out of the Wood, Crafts Council Exhibition. Crafts Council Gallery, London. Out of the Wood showing at: Cleveland Arts Centre. Abbots Hall Art Gallery, Kendal. Leicestershire Museum and Art Gallery. Derby Museum and Art Gallery. Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Stoke on Trent Museum and Art Gallery. Dean Clough Artists, Show. Halifax. Benchmarks, Sculptural Seating, Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire. Artists at Dean Clough, Bury Museum and Art Gallery. Manchester Academy of Fine Art, Open Exhibition. The Conference Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax. 35


1995 1996 1997 1998 2000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Site Gallery, Woodhouse Square, Leeds. Dean Clough Artists, The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate. 10 Artists de Leeds, Escuela de Arte de Oviedo, Spain. Large Sculptural Works, Dean Clough, Halifax. Commissioned by IOU Theatre. Large Wooden Fish, for performance of Another Part of the Island. Commissioned by lOU Theatre. Armchair, woven hazel branches, for performance of Another Part of the Island. Exhibition of Sculpture at Darlington Arts Centre. Edinburgh Theatre Workshop. Forestry of Leeds, Tree Dressing Project, Temple Newsome House, Leeds. Artists at Dean Clough, Dean Clough, Halifax Forestry of Leeds, Tree Dressing Project, Roundhay Park, Leeds. Dean Clough Artists Show, Dean Clough, Halifax. Kirby Library, Liverpool. 2000 DC, The Millennium Show, Dean Clough, Halifax. Woodcuts, The Studio Gallery, Halifax. The Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London. The Gateway Arts and Education Centre, Shrewsbury. The Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London. Shropshire Open Print Exhibition, The Gateway Arts and Education Centre, Shrewsbury. Arts Festival Shop, Hebden Bridge. One Person Exhibition Originals 05, National Print Exhibition, The Mall Galleries, London. The Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London. Gallery 11, Bradford University. Solo Exhibition. Edgar Modern Fine Art, Toronto Art Fair, Canada. Mauger Gallery, Bath. Art London. The Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London. 36


2008 The Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London. 2009 The Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London. 2010 Sculptural Benches, The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. The Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London. 2011 I08 Fine Art, Harrogate. Artsmill Gallery, Hebden Bridge. Awarded 1st Prize for best work in show. 2012 Water Street Gallery, Todmorden. 108 Fine Art, Harrogate. Artsmill Gallery, Hebden Bridge. Solo Exhibition. 2013 108 Fine Art, Harrogate. Solo Exhibition Goole Arts Centre, Goole. Fulcrum, I.O.U Theatre 2014 Barnsley Civic Theatre, Barnsley. Fulcrum, I.O.U Theatre. Artsmill Gallery, Hebden Bridge. Solo Exhibition. 2015 Water Street Gallery, Todmorden. 2016 Gallery Different, London. Bevere Gallery, Worcester. 2017 Gallery Different, London. Studio 2, Todmorden. COLLECTIONS:

Works in private collections

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Works From The Water’s Edge Richard Wincer

Works From The Water's Edge - Richard Wincer Artist  

Richard Wincer's recent sculptures, exhibited at Studio 2, Todmorden, Lancashire.

Works From The Water's Edge - Richard Wincer Artist  

Richard Wincer's recent sculptures, exhibited at Studio 2, Todmorden, Lancashire.

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