Richard Southall

Richard Southall's contemporary work, diverse in style and subject matter, is based on a deep understanding of form, so little seen in today's art school graduates.

"I feel that the socio-political issues that my early work represents, expresses things in a way that non-figurative styles fail to achieve." Fossilised Man, Prisoner of Conscience

His sculpture was securely grounded in figurative art during his formative years at art school, studying under Stuart Osbourne RA. Osbourne had close associations with Sir Jacob Epstein whilst a student at the Royal College of Art. This tuition emphasised the study of form to portray and express meaning. Osbourne was often heard to say, "I don't want any artists on my course" suggesting study first, creativity later. Consequently Richard's work stands outside the modern trend.

"I find much of today's contemporary and conceptual art trite and boring in its execution. My use of the figure can bring something new and alive to what has become a stagnant formula. Modern art can become strait-jacketed into its own conformity - trying to be different at any cost."

Recent work is heavily influenced by the great works of ancient Egypt. A study of Egyptian anthropomorphic deities, Sobek looks into the early spiritual beliefs in the 'human animal'. Today we understand the physical progression from primate to man through to scientist and space traveller.

"But at what point did the human mind conceive spirituality and begin to intellectualise meaning, emotion and God? The rich evolution of spiritual art representing religious belief from the primitive tribe to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel provides a rich timeline in metaphysical questioning."