DJ turned artist to exhibit at Town Mill gallery

Artist Richard Kaye working on his prints

DJ turned artist, Richard Kaye, will be showing his work at the Malthouse Gallery at the Town Mill in Lyme Regis next month.

Having played Glastonbury Festival and ‘Top Of The Pops’ as scratch DJ for rock band Ash, Richard moved to Ottery St Mary 13 years ago, having lived in both Lyme Regis and Bridport as a young man. His passion has now switched from music to creating art focussed on quite unexpected subjects.

Art has always been an important part of Richard’s life, whether it’s been simply sketching a view, or someone who’s fallen asleep on a train, right through to his recent obsession with printmaking. The upcoming exhibition at the Town Mill is focusing on work from the last four years, which have been some of his most productive.

Richard is candid about enjoying some subject matter which most people and artists would tend to ignore. Having trained at Bournemouth College of Art where he focussed on drawing and painting, and taking inspiration from the landscape around him, he has become fascinated by portraying what he sees in a compelling way.

During his early printmaking career he was totally fixated by drypoint intaglio printmaking and worked in the Double Elephant studio in Exeter. Using copper plates and the traditional hand pulled technique, the work often focuses on bold silhouettes against the sky. This has led him to produce several series of prints focussing on trees, telegraph poles, scaffolding, communication masts and cranes.

The images tend to be very bold and distinctive, with some of the more urban subjects being somewhat unexpected. Richard takes pleasure in finding strong compositions and angular forms within subjects which are often missed or ignored. Turning these images into highly detailed and intricate prints was the basis of Richard’s introduction to printmaking.

In the last few year’s Richard has started to work on a larger scale, with screen prints which he then hand tints using water colour. Again the subject matter has remained somewhat out of the ordinary including industrial steel and glass station roofs as well as modern architecture. With these prints he uses a subtle palette of colours to bring intricacy, delicacy and focus to the work.

This series started when Richard was taking photos of Waterloo Station roof, and realised that each of the panes of glass were slightly different colours. It formed the basis for the first series of prints on Waterloo Station, then others followed.

The architectural works are more recent and include modern buildings and tinted glass where again watercolour is used to bring life and form to the work.

Outside his printmaking, Richard is a keen painter and has been producing a small series of abstract landscapes focusing closely on colour balance and composition to engage the viewer.

Also in the upcoming exhibition, he has included an unusual series of drawings of people he sees who have fallen asleep on trains. These are simple sketches done on the journey between the south coast and London.

The exhibition ‘Richard Kaye, Recent Work 2014-2018’ will be held at the Malthouse Gallery from August 17 to 29, open every day from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

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