JEAN RICHARDSON / Destination Unknown
October 13, 2017 – January 26, 2018
Richardson explores the dichotomy of displacement and belonging in her work. Her work is a direct response to her relationship to place and the conflict of feeling both lost and found within a place. She identifies mostly as a Scot despite being a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States. She enjoys living in new places and other countries, getting itchy to leave and experience something new. Yet while living abroad, at times she is crippled by longing and misses the close connection to family, Scottish humor and green hills. Influenced and inspired by her experiences living in different climates and cultures, she makes collections of ordinary objects, which trigger memories and ignite a sense of comfort and wonder. The objects are carefully chosen both for their arbitrary meaning and their personal significance. Reclaiming the objects into sculptures and installations, which become poetic metaphors for the longing to find the familiar within the unfamiliar while concurrently seeking out the unfamiliar to detach from the familiar.
Header image: Whereabouts (detail), Jean Richardson
In Destination Unknown, Richardson's collages of used envelopes become reminiscent of patchwork quilts as she utilizes the security patterns and inherent shapes of the envelopes to rebuild formal narratives of imagined journeys. Intrigued by the idea that envelopes with the same security patterns may have been cut from the same sheets of paper, she plays at reuniting the torn fragments by attempting to realign the angles and lines of the security patterns. Considering the various cross country and international journeys of these ephemeral paper objects, Richardson feels an emotional attachment to the fragments of paper as they are discarded once delivered and opened. The envelope collages are folded using different map folding techniques or are rolled to resemble older maps. These large scale sheets become wordless maps, maps of terra incognita. Richardson's works, with no delivery routes or destinations, explore a yearning to wander, get lost, and discover the unknown or something anew in the process.
About the Artist
Jean Richardson is a Scottish artist and educator living in Utah. Her sculptures and installations, made from her collections of commonplace objects, explore the dichotomy of displacement and belonging. Richardson’s work is a direct response to her relationship to place and the conflict of feeling both lost and found within a place. She received a BA (Honors) in Drawing and Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Scotland, and an MFA in Studio Art from Brigham Young University. Richardson, a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States, has exhibited and taught in the United Kingdom, Israel, Spain, Tonga and New Zealand. Her many travels have and continue to influence her art practice. www.jean-richardson.com