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Viewing Richard Nott’s work is witnessing a protracted collision of processes. An evolution of matter. Exposed, concealed, exposed, concealed - continuously. The consequence of years spent. Nott’s history merging with the history of the elements used. Nott has no interest in illusionistic ‘texture’ – the work must be its own entity – have its own story. Be its own statement. It is an organic object - a living thing.
This allows the contemplation of a cycle of existence. Not a beginning with an end but a journey where genesis leads to dissolution, and on once again to genesis. An on-going sequence beyond mortal confines. Something eternal. Alchemy. Nevertheless, his paintings reflect Alfred Tennyson’s ‘nature, red in tooth and claw,’ with its ‘scarped cliffs and quarried stone’, except in Richard’s work his landscape is Cornwall’s harsh granite moors and dark cliffs, where for centuries tin was gouged out from deep below it’s surface.
Richard shuts himself away to work as he believes, “In order to be a good artist, you must have motivation. I work sixteen or seventeen hour days, until I almost become unable to see my work.” But there are no oils or acrylic paints in Richard’s studio; he works with industrial materials, bitumen, emulsions and varnishes, building them up layer upon layer, often over finely drawn grids or lines, into a textural palimpsest, before painstakingly scraping or gouging them back to reveal what lies underneath.
Nott gained his Fine Art degree at Lancashire Polytechnic and his MA in fine art at Reading University. In 1985 he acted as an assistant to Andy Goldsworthy on site-specific sculptures in the Lake District. He was gallery assistant at the Royal Academy from 1986-7 and at Oldham Art Gallery from 1991-2. He won the South West Arts Visual Arts and Photography Award in 1994. He gained a residency at the 12th International Weeks of Painting in 1999 and exhibited the work produced in Austria and Slovenia. He was selected for the ‘Art Now Cornwall’ exhibition at the Tate St Ives and is an elected member of the Newlyn Society of Arts.