Kelly Richardson – Leviathan - Amelia

Opening at The Amelia Scott is Leviathan, a large-scale triple screen immersive video installation by the artist Kelly Richardson. As part of a collaboration with the Arts Council Collection, through the Borrow Big! scheme, the presentation of Leviathan at The Amelia will be the first time the work has been exhibited since being acquired by the Arts Council Collection in 2015. Leviathan was originally commissioned by Artpace, San Antonio.

The work draws on Richardson's distinct art practice which focusses on ideas around conservation and a careful observation of the effects of humanity on the planet. She films the bald cypress trees, indigenous to Caddo Lake in Uncertain, Texas, and manipulates the footage, creating a series of twisting, snake-like tendrils of yellowish light in the water with an eerie soundtrack replacing the sounds of nature.

Richardson explains, 'I'm trying to create contemplative places which are both beautiful and mesmeric, but at the same time, unsettling.'

Presented as a triptych, the landscape is viewed from a single vantage point, like a painting set in motion. The immersive environment of Leviathan is entirely devoid of people and invites viewers to 'insert themselves into the work' and become its sole protagonists. Richardson's manipulation of the video suggests several foreboding plot lines:  the birth of primordial life, the emergence of a malign aquatic creature or a post-apocalyptic Earth.

Caddo Lake, the setting of Richardson's Leviathan is thought to be the first site in the world for underwater oil drilling and plays a significant role in the shaping of current fossil-fuel debates concerning the global climate crisis. Tunbridge Wells has strong links to conservation, having enshrined the protection of wild plants, animals, and natural habitats in The Tunbridge Wells Improvement Act of 1889. This ground-breaking legislation ensured the protection and stewardship of the extensive commons found locally and the plants and wildlife that dwell and flourish on it.

The staging of Leviathan at The Amelia Scott comes at a significant time historically, in reflection of growing global climate concerns and places Tunbridge Wells once again at the centre of environmental and conservation debates.

Kelly Richardson – Leviathan
The Amelia Scott Exhibition Space - Exhibition Space
03 Feb 23 - 15 May 23

All Day



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Kelly Richardson (b. 1972, Canada)

Kelly Richardson crafts video installations and digital prints that offer imaginative glimpses of the future that prompt a careful consideration of the present. Her work is influenced by 19th-century landscape painting, 20th-century cinema, and 21st-century planetary research.

Widely acclaimed in North America, Asia and Europe, she has been selected for several biennales and major moving image exhibitions. Richardson's work has been acquired into significant museum collections across the UK, USA, and Canada.

She currently lives and works as a visitor on the traditional territory of the WSANEC peoples of the Coast Salish Nation on Vancouver Island, Canada. She is Professor in Visual Arts at the University of Victoria. More information about Kelly Richardson :

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