Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer
Richie Culver & Hannah Perry - Duo Show
A Vauxhall Corsa on the M62, somewhere between Chester and Hull On the work of Richie Culver and Hannah Perry by Adam Carr
Prior to being invited to write this text, I had often considered the mutual and partnered tendencies of Richie Culver and Hannah Perry’s work, not least for their time spent in my hometown of Chester – Perry was born in the city and Culver had spent time there while living with his sister.
It is hardly news that artists who work in a particular region or location share interests and that these imprints have been made known in the shape of conceptual and formal similarities, or at least via attitudes to working. Artists’ whereabouts and the location driven context that forms a practice have, of course, spawned many isms and moments in art history and can come to characterise and be emblematic of a particular way of working. Although it might be a place of inspiration, Chester is not, however, a capital city and in this way shares a different history therefore with artistic characteristics aligned with, for example, London, Paris, New York, or Los Angeles, and so on. Yet surprisingly for its relatively small size and its sheer lack of contemporary art presentation – there is no known art institution – Chester has delivered several contemporary artists known internationally, Ryan Gander, Jesse Wine, and Richard Woods among them. While both artists had spent time in the city, Culver’s upbringing in Hull is equally pertinent to the overlaps that occur between the two artist’s work. Although regionalism could be seen as acknowledgment in both artists’ works, it is rather a reactionary push against normative codes of social, political and other systems that characterise a way of behaving that could be considered in many ways as a meeting point for their practices.
Though Culver and Perry’s work grapples both with and within the confines of their upbringings, equally is a desire to speak urgently to much a larger context, one that submits the deeply personal to the universal. A will to speak further afield is perhaps a consequence of their upbringings in working class households which have, in turn, speared a yearning for elsewhere, for something other. Their practices are, in part, an acknowledgment of other artists and cognizant of how their work could play an alternative role in a history, or histories, of material consideration and subject matter, as well as presentation and delivery. Beyond such affinities is a shared arena of an intense commitment to aural concerns, often through working with sound but most notably through the deployment of tangible materials. Many of Culver’s work could recall lyrics, while his sound releases in form of albums and eps are as much part of his practice than his paintings. Perry’s work often makes use of sound, or more specifically soundwaves, and mines its ability to provide context for a set of largely visual and sculptural aspects.