Lucienne Rickard is an extraordinarily talented artist from Hobart whose work is marked by a sharp eye for detail, zealous imagination and a fastidious, almost obsessive, mode of execution. Having focused previously on the plumage of Tasmanian birds, native flora and the richly decorated traditional uniforms of the Prussian military, her new work stems from an extended stay on Lord Howe Island last year. In her words, “I am continuing to explore the themes of beauty, death, brutality and obsession, with all of the current work stemming from a trip to Lord Howe Island last year. My grandmother’s family came from the island and still have a family home there. Through this work, I consider what life on the island would have been like for my forebears. I find myself preoccupied with the pervasive presence of death in an isolated, basic life. Some works explore the gradual accumulative death reflected in the small actions woven into daily life and others, the aggressive chasing and confronting of death with activities like shark fishing that took place on the island.” Although often confronting, the works are hauntingly beautiful in both execution and composition. Using controlled and repetitive pencil strokes on often large sheets of drafting paper, Lucienne captures the velvety textures of bird, beast and fabric. Highlights appear in the images where she repeatedly works and rubs back sections of the drawing with her fingers and where subtle changes in mark direction create differences of tone. The painstaking and intensely physical nature of this process emphasises the ideas of physicality and transience in her use of imagery. In all of her works, Lucienne presents the viewer with richly detailed, textured and challenging works that unite themes of beauty, death, brutality and obsession.
Lucienne Rickard completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Queensland College of Art in 2001 and, in the following year, Honours (First Class) in Fine Arts at the University of Tasmania. Having completed her PhD in Fine Arts at the University of Tasmania and been awarded the Rosamond McCulloch Studio Residency in Paris, she has had work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Australia. Lucienne has exhibited with Beaver Galleries since 2010, culminating most recently with a sellout showing by the gallery of her drawings at the inaugural Sydney Contemporary art fair last year. In 2014, she was selected to participate in “Primavera”, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s annual showing of bold new work from young Australian artists.
Photo: Peter Whyte