‘I am in the realm of kings and queens
And senses and friends and artwork
Emerging in my own way
Emerging through the team’
Those are the words of Outside In artist Richard Downes – one of three artists taking part in the pioneering residency and exhibition ‘Realm’.
Richard – who was selected following an Outside In call out – joins Mr X, chosen by Bethlem Gallery, and Hazel Brill, chosen by CGP London, Southwark Park, where the project and exhibition is being held.
“The artists have no starting point, no idea of an ending. We have a mentor and friendly others around us. Everything unfamiliar is being familiarised,” writes Richard.
“We go for a walk around the park. Looking. Responding to the environment and each other. Memories spring. Knowledge of the park sinks in. Memories are not always savory for me. Memories might not be mine. Things I read, things i heard, somethings i know. Some of these are true.”
He goes on to write an A to P of examples of these ‘memories’ which includes ‘Fairgrounds. Ribald rock n roll on the waltzers, tight blue jeans, roll ups, looking for a chance, holing out to candy floss or a shortly to demise gold fish’ and ‘Cheryl in the long grass’.
“On the walk. Talking, photographing. Photographing, texture, patterns, reflections, thinking contrast. Thinking i must get to grips with this camera. Earlier, prisms, rainbows, oil and grease on wet roads,” he adds.
“Somehow we seem to respond more to gallery space. The park was always away from home. Maybe we are more comfortable here wondering if we can scrawl on the walls. I see a poem forming and wonder if anyone can do that typographic thing curators get done in galleries. I feel a poem coming on and wonder what would happen to the words if i gave them in some form to an artist. Or if i had a photo they wanted to use. I can only give what i have but i can also learn and maybe try my hand at something else. I am the same as they. This is new. I am happy to be new to expand. I always want to expand. That walk, those bird boxes, those incredibly short poems. I want to cut down, be precise, understand brevity, think about minimalism again, stop blathering on.”
The residency and exhibition is being made possible thanks to support from: