Richard Hooper 04.02.11

Richard Hooper Wood turner                                                  

Diameter. - 300mm H - 70mm

Date Made: c3. 2. 02 Dimensions: Imperial: L - 14" H - 5" W - 7" Material: Birch Ply Initiation: Commission by Peter Kahn for Alf Westwells


Piece Title: 'Galaxy'

Piece Title: 'Galaxy' Date Made: 10.7. 98 Material: Material: Birch Plywood

Date Made: 20. 2. 98 Dimensions: Imperial: L- 16" W- 14” Ø - 14" Material: Material: Birch Ply (polyurethane and wax)

Date Made: 10. 11. 97 Dimensions: Imperial: L- 15″ W- 12” Ø – 12″ Material: Material: Birch Ply (polyurethane and wax)

Richard Hooper, use of technology and design developing relationships between form and its immediate micro environment.

I found the lecture of great value and interest. Learning about Richards’s use of man made machinery, plastics and metals. He highly recommends students to ‘get out there into industry and become a pioneer of technologies’.

He has both undergraduate and masters degrees in Design and is currently Senior Associate Lecturer in Fine Art and Design on the Bachelor of Design Degree Course at Liverpool Hope University College. Richard has his own studio practice and is represented by Contemporary Applied Art in London and del Mano Gallery in Los Angeles.

A person with philosophical values and intellectual vision. Adopting new means of production, including the CNC machinery. Richard’s use of photography to highlight form and shape, ‘aesthetics‘. Creating sculptures with life like properties, geometry and ecological sound materials.

He’s completely aware of the ‘bread and butter‘, money making ways to survive, however, prefers to make one off pieces. Never loosing sleep over issues of functionality or purpose. More in tune with theology and beauty of form, from simple creations in his early days to complicated CNC wood and metal forms of today.

It was also interesting to hear him evaluate his career, from gallery work to personal commissions.

Richards conclusion to the lecture was a presentation of some you tube clips, robots in action. A fascination with mechanical developments, progress of man-kinds technological advances.

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My work is concerned with contextual formal relationships, physicality and the nature and perception of beauty. Firstly, relationships between formal compositional elements and between form and it’s immediate micro environment (the surface on which a form rests or appears to grow out of and proximity to other forms or voids). Secondly, a form’s relationship to the wider environment for example its dependence on gravity and its consequent orienting and even limiting effect. Thirdly, I am interested in the sheer physicality of materials and our interaction with them. Fourthly, I am also interested in the concept and nature of beauty. My work represents an attempt to discover beauty rather than, as I see it, to create it.

My method of working is mainly premeditated and thus non-spontaneous. The ideas for my designs may arrive spontaneously but are most often the result of working and reworking ideas in a sketchbook, drawing board or on the computer. My work relies on an appreciation of geometry, mathematical models, astronomy and structures within civil engineering and architecture.

Early work explored spherical and cylindrical shapes and their juxtaposition and a consideration of a variety of axes and points of rotation. My use of the lathe in these experiments gave further voice to the rotational element of my work. Further control was exercised by using birch plywood allowing the alignment of the laminated ‘strata’ vertically, horizontally or at an angle to accentuate mass, breadth, depth, height or dynamic. Much of this work followed or replicated the work of early abstract minimalists such as Vantergoloo et al in the early C20.

Throughout this work I have been interested in exploring changes of viewing aspect from the conventional inside/outside paradigm of vessels to more expansive linear visual landscapes and more solid geometric and organic conceptualisations exploring conventional sculptural concerns of mass and void. Recent work on complex organic forms has been in conjunction with computer controlled technology using Three Axis Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) milling machines.