Frances Richardson

Frances Richardson currently lives and has a studio in Clapham, London. She grew up in Leeds and studied at Jacob Kramer, Leeds College of Art, Norwich School of Art and the Royal College of Art, graduating with an MA in Sculpture in 2006.  She exhibits both nationally and internationally. Her solo show Ideas in the Making: drawing structure at Trinity Contemporary, London, featured a looped I-beam circumscribed by the gallery walls, floor and ceiling. Her 1+1 pencil drawings feature in Phaidon’s 2005 publication Vitamin D: New Perspectives on Contemporary Drawing and most recently in the  The Art of Drawing: British Masters and Methods since 1660 by Susan Owens, published by the V&A Museum.


“I have been using the marks + and – to create works on paper since 1997. I desire the mark to have a presence, rather than be used for illusory / representational purposes and see the graphite deposit as a sculptural intervention across the surface. The use of signs, + and – as marks, indicate a conceptual visual preposition: the presentation of the moment of being in space and time, a pulse that tends towards nothing and everything.

Making a mark is a gestural act that for me scores the intangible physical reality of being in a moment and the suspension and presentation of this moment to the viewer. Initially the act of making the + – marks formed linear progressions, which indicated a period of time, although the line invariably had no beginning or end. A second phase quickly developed where the intention was to erase as far as possible the idea of past and future in the work. The orientation of the action of perceiving the drawing changed from moving across the surface, to seeing the image in an instant as if looking from above. The marks appear as a singularly resolved membrane made using various densities of lead pencil and fade to form symmetries, inducing rhythms that react to the act of looking. The individual gesture of the marks enable a rotation of the axis on the +’s to produce visual paths and rhythms within the surface matrix.

The act of drawing as explorative becoming, resides in the 3d work. I cut up sheets of MDF and use painted screws to assemble the flat sections. There are no plans, just an image of form that physically resolves in the making. I call them “walk-in drawings”. In the process, incidents occur that re-inform the image. The denial of surface histories intends that they effect through their physical presence.” – Frances Richardson, 2009