Get Real is an exhibition of various artists work that has been inspired by unreal, artificial and imaginary subjects. Artists displaying their work include jewellery designers Adam Paxon and Moon Young Shin as well as UK based Italian artist Emilia Telese.
Also exhibiting is Rikard Österlund, a Kent based photographer born in Sweden. He will present two new photographic projects called ‘Flowers’ and ‘There is a Storm Coming’. Rikards work often stems from a desire to make sense of the ever-changing circumstances and people who surround him. His use of photography is used to confront, catalogue and question.
When asked about the inspiration for the new ‘Flowers’ series Rikard explains “the images are a departure from my autobiographical work and looks at larger issues of representation through art-historical references. ‘Flowers’ is inspired by the Flemish paintings of flower arrangements from the late 17th Century, in particular the work by Rachel Ruysch and Jan Davidsz. De Heem. Many of their paintings of elaborate flower-arrangements where vanita’s, set out to remind the viewer of the inevitability of death and the irrelevance of earthly pleasures. Interestingly the period is also well known for the ‘tulip mania’ in Holland and so flowers where also a symbol of opulence and many of the paintings indicated their owners wealth as much as they provided a contemplation of the transience of their life. These dualities are at the heart of the whole project, it questions our abstracted relationship to nature; from the real experience to the signifier, nature and artifice, the temporary and the permanent, the sacred and the profane. It is an attempt of rephrasing the old questions using contemporary materials and processes.”
Rikard’s practice as a photographic artist developed after years as a professional commercial and fashion photographer and as a lecturer at the University for The Creative Arts, Rochester, BA (hons) Photography (Contemporary Practice) course. Recent exhibitions include That’s You, That Is, 2010, group exhibition at Nucleus Gallery, Kent, UK.
Rikard Österlund will be holding a free family workshop on Saturday, 13 November, 1pm-3.30pm . You will be able to join the photographer to create your own artworks inspired by the exhibition. Suitable for ages 12-years-old and over. Under-16s must be accompanied by an adult.
The exhibition is free and will be held at Rochester Art Gallery and Craft Case Medway Visitor Information Centre, 95 High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1LX.