Richard Whadcock

Current Collection

Richard Whadcock is one of the UK's leading contemporary artists, specialising in atmospheric landscape paintings. His contemporary landscape paintings explore the South Downs and East Sussex coast. Trying to capture its ever changing dramatic atmosphere from silent stillness to squally days. The South Downs are only a starting point as the paintings themselves eventually take over and follow their own path creating their unique surface landscape.

History

Richard studied fine art painting and printmaking at Bristol Polytechnic and then went on to complete his Masters at the Royal College of Art in 1989-91. He then moved to Brighton and established his studio at Phoenix Brighton. A residency at Lowick House Print Workshop in Cumbria in 1996 further developed his printmaking but also led to painting coming more to the fore and becoming his main area of development.

"Richard Whadcock is a landscape painter but not in the usual way. The paintings seem to come out of the wall and hug you in mists. So beautiful."

London Art Gallery

Richard Whadcock has been represented by the Northcote London Art Gallery since 1997 and his contemporary landscapes paintings have been exclusive to the gallery for the last six years.
After completing his Masters at the Royal College of Art in 1991 Whadcock moved to Brighton and established his studio at The Phoenix Brighton Art Gallery. It was shortly after this that he was taken on by Alison and Diccon Pettit who were establishing the Northcote Gallery in Battersea, London.

An Interview with Richard Whadcock


Talk us through your ideal Sunday?

An ideal Sunday. I think I have only just discovered Sundays. Sundays never have the usual dread of going to work on a Monday. Now they revolve around good coffee, a walk on the Downs (usually taking photographs so still 'working') Broken up with a pub lunch and a wine.


What role do you think art plays in our daily lives?

Name an emotion and that's a role it should play.

 

Where is your favourite place in the world to be?

Hard to answer when you haven't been to many places but Ballinskelligs, Kerry has to be up there and will always be a pivotal place. After a trip to Lagos, Portugal, the warmth (and coffee) attracted. Italy provided a backdrop that was tentatively explored but offered so much to go back to.

 

Do you have any quirky habits when you‘re working in your studio? 

I'm sure I have but it usually takes someone else to point them out to you. Still waiting.....

 

When did you first see yourself as an artist and what changes have you seen? 

I don't think I ever saw myself as an artist. I had aimed to be an architect but realised, in time thankfully, I had no interest in architecture as such. An arts Foundation course and especially a tutor on my BA course opened up a whole new side to art that I never knew existed. That was when I was introduced to work by Cy Twombly and the American Abstract Expressionists with the timeline running from Turner and Monet. This has turned out to be fairly timely now with the exhibition on at the Royal Academy. Is it a connection that viewers would often see with my work if asked?

 

Why are you drawn to landscapes and what areas inspire you the most?

Well as far as inspiration is concerned, I have the South Downs on the studio doorstep to provide as much inspiration that one could want. Even closer the industrial seafront along through Portslade, Southwick and Shoreham. The east side of the Downs had been my stomping ground for many a year but now West of the Downs offers new possibilities. A drive along the industrial shoreline can make a stunning backdrop for early morning or late Sunset. Within ten minutes, you are out of Brighton and on the Downs. The Downs are more of a rolling landscape, not craggy or rough.They are however subject to the distortions of coastal weather fronts sweeping inland and leaving their mark. If you walk along the ridge of the Downs through places such as Ditchling Beacon or Devils Dyke, you find yourself above the landscape almost and feel as if amongst the weather. From here scale can be ambiguous and transforms the landscape into an amorphous arena. What you think is there one minute is swallowed up in long, deep shadow or burnt out in the glaring sun. It’s enveloped and muffled in an early mist or battered by an incoming front. It creates what are in essence marks, lines and shapes that are constantly moving and shifting. These conditions are what inform my work. The landscape needs to be broken down into its basic components that will express its evolutions. These aren't stationary moments, though.

 

Do you work from memory and imagination or photographs you have taken? 

It isn't very often that I paint on site. Most of the time, I walk around with a camera. These only act as memory aids as we don't see the landscape like a camera does(or I choose not to) - all in focus for a split second. The photographs serve as a starting point for some of the paintings which in turn develop in their own direction and leave the snapshot behind. So it isn't painting from a photograph, they are just pointers, something you can keep referencing as a piece develops. I suppose this is where you could say the images are abstracted, although I'm not entirely sure that would be accurate either. This crossover point in my work was only highlighted more to me with a recent visit to the American Abstract Expressionists show at the Royal Academy. They have always been a big influence on my work from very early on. I look at the scale of their work, colour fields, mark making and presence in front of the viewer. Their paintings move and hold an energy that is brought in from the outside.

Trying to capture something by painting onsite is not a factor. There is no point in painting on the spot to capture something that is already escaping you. I think it should be less about speed and more about building momentum that drives the painting, during the initial stages at least.  I have likened elements; tree lines, footpaths, valleys, fences in the landscape to marks; marks that have evolved and not been planned.  This is to a certain degree how the marks, shapes and imagery should develop in the painting. To organically develop a framework of the memory you hold. Learned intuition. 

 

Finally, do you have a life philosophy?

Treat everyone as you would wish to be treated yourself as life's too short for any other crap!

2020

Cadogan Contemporary, New Year Show, London

 

2019

Nadia Waterfield Gallery, Andover

 

2017

ING Discerning Eye, Invited Artist

Gallery 57, Arundel, Gaze, Glimps: A Look at Landscape 

 

2016

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London

 

2015

AAF Battersea Northcote Gallery

Northcote Gallery Battersea

2014

Lapada 2014, Northcote Gallery

Northcote Gallery, Chelsea

2013

Saatchi Gallery, Strarta. London

Northcote Gallery, Chelsea

2012

AAF Battersea.

Northcote Gallery, Chelsea

2011

ArtLondon

Art Hamptons, New York

2010

Art London Brussels Art Fair

2009

National Open Art Competition, Chichester

2008

Art 2008, Adam Gallery, London

2007

Art 2007, Adam Gallery, London

21/20 British Art fair, London

2006

Art 2006, Adam Gallery, London

2005

Art 2005, Adam Gallery, London

2004

Art 2004, Adam Gallery, London

Art London, Northcote Gallery, London

2003

Art 2003, Adam Gallery, London

Art London, Northcote Gallery, London

Art London 2003, Vertigo Gallery, London

Palm Beach Art Fair, Adam Gallery, USA

Vertigo Gallery, Gallery Artists, London

2002

Adam Gallery, New Contemporaries, London

Gallery One, London

Art 2002, Adam Gallery, London

Art First, Starting A Collection, London

Affordable Art fair, Northcote Gallery

Vertigo Gallery, Gallery Artists, London

Gallery One, Drawings, london

2001

Vertigo Gallery, London

Art 2001, London Art Show

Fresh Art, London

Starting a Collection, Art First,

London Affordable Art Fair, Northcote Gallery

2000

Art Paris, Carrousel du Louvre

A.A.F. London, Northcote Gallery

New Elemental Aesthetic, E1 Gallery

Starting A Collection 2000, Art First, London

Art London, Chelsea

1999

Starting A Collection, Art First, London

Affordable Art Fair, London. Northcote Gallery

Mind the Gap, Utah University, USA Touring

London Art Show, London

Vital Art, Cowcross Gallery, London

Group Show, Work Place Arts

Collections

Robert Horne Collection

Lowick House Collection

Gulbenkian Collection

Southern Illinois Collection

Private collections

Awards

1996 Robert Horne Paper Award

Princes Trust/Sports Council

1991 Daler Rowney Award

Residencies

2014 Cill Rialaig Ballinskelligs Co Kerry. Ireland

1996 Lowick House Print Workshop

1995 Cheltenham College of Art