Richard Baines is a graduate of BA Fine Art, Falmouth University and the Royal College of Art. He is currently developing a commission for Penryn Museum as part of New Expressions 3, New Opportunities Award, curated by Field Notes. We spoke to Richard following his recent research trip to the museum and he told us a little bit about his work and his plans for the commission:
FN: Tell us a little bit about your practice, are there particular themes or ideas which run through your work?
RB: My modes of production vary but I often involves domestic and home-craft materials. I utilise repetitive actions and enjoy the results of instinctive decisions but do not rule out preplanning. Islands and boats are present in a lot of my work, I like them as a somewhat unsubtle metaphor for the individual but also for their very particular kind of form and function, as well as their close association with each other.
FN: Do you often work in response to an existing object or site?
RB: Most of my work begins as a response to an object of some sort. I like to recreate objects that are particularly potent in some way and that can fit both within the tribal and the everyday. I like the concept that the power of the object is duplicated or distorted in some way.
FN: What was it about working in response to Penryn Museum’s collection that made you interested to take on the project?
RB: The collection at Penryn Museum is especially eclectic but everything sits harmoniously together, I like this. There are some very strange things and also some very ordinary objects all side by side.
FN: You recently spent a few days exploring the collection and talking to the volunteers at the Museum. Was there anything that particularly caught your attention?
RB: I was very kindly shown round the museum twice by Shirley and she brought out some fantastic pieces of carved wood that are not currently on display. The piece of furniture the wooden pieces had come from had long since fallen apart and I enjoyed imagining what it originally looked like.
FN: Can you tell us a bit about how you intend to approach the process of making new work in response to the Museum’s collection?
RB: I want my response to be broad and far reaching but also intimate to me as a maker; I’ve contacted a Museum in Newfoundland and historian so far as I’ve enquired further into objects in the museum’s collection and I’ve also looked into the methods with which things were made in consideration of my response.
FN: Have you got any other interesting projects coming up this year?
RB: A slight u-turn from my normal type of work but I have been planning a short documentary, not quite sure what form it will take as yet.
More images of Richards work can be found at http://obsidianwindscreen.tumblr.com/