My interest lies in material, and the methods of manipulation which make the best use of the material properties, so I aimed to create three dimensional representations of the ideas of beauty, luxury, taste, service and design.
My working process is essentially experimental, I tend to let the material dictate the forms rather than forcing it to do something. Working in this manner with paper allows for the generation of many ideas in a short space of time, which can be developed into quite elaborate forms over time. It is almost like a process of evolution – I work on many different strands at the same time, and they tend to interweave and complement each other. I keep all of the models, no matter how rough, and I sometimes come back to them, cutting them up or refolding them, sometimes until there is nothing left of the original – but I document the whole process with photography throughout, as I consider everything to be of equal importance in the process. This also allows me to think about potential compositions for the final shoot. This set of images provides a snapshot of the working process, of ideas at various stages of resolution.
Once the models are fully refined, I often photograph them against a plain, white backdrop. This has the effect of removing any sense of scale, so there is an ambiguity about the imagery – these could be perceived as colossal architectural structures, or as minuscule electron micro-graphs. Using all white also places full emphasis on the forms and shapes of the pieces – Iight and shadow reveals their tactile surfaces. The sculptures and the photography are both important in their own right, and I believe that the photograph should reveal as much information about the three dimensionality of the piece as possible. With Strategic Hotel, I gave the imagery quite a soft feel, akin to the hypnagogic imagery experienced before sleep – it is delicate and ephemeral.
Richard Sweeney www.richardsweeney.co.uk
Richard Sweeney was born and raised in Huddersfield, England. A keen academic, he was pressured to apply for Oxbridge by his college tutors, but instead opted to pursue a career in the creative arts.
From 2002-03, he studied at Batley School of Art and Design, discovering a natural talent for realising three dimensional form through hands-on material exploration.
Richard has just finished studying Three Dimensional Design at the Manchester Metropolitan University. He has found a niche working with flat sheet materials, manipulating form through the use of hand-craft and CNC manufacturing techniques.