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Major new commission by Richard Rigg, "A Clearing" opens at BALTIC
Richard Rigg, 54.969211, -1.598278. Courtesy of Workplace Gallery and the artist.
GATESHEAD.- Nominated for the prestigious Northern Art Prize in 2011, Richard Rigg is one of the most exciting artists based in the North East. Playful and often humorous, his works reproduce and manipulate everyday objects, asking us to view their physicality and function in a new light.

For his exhibition Lacuna at BALTIC, Rigg has produced his most ambitious work to date – the major new commission A Clearing. The ambiguous title of the work could refer to that moment where you finally find yourself out of the trees in an open space of a forest, an instance of apparent clarity or, conversely, it could signify something being erased. In the exhibition space visitors will find a mountain cabin. Invited inside, they will discover its interior to be a mountain landscape alive with plants. The project began with Rigg’s observation of fog over a mountain and his meditation on how the mountain could at once be both absent and present. A Clearing also uncovers our complex potential connections and disconnections with landscape.

Un-tethered from time and place, the cabin is a design hybrid taken from many sources from various periods. The landscape found within it is unremarkable and has no discerning features. Its rocks and stones are mainly taken from Torridon, a series of mountains in the Scottish Highlands, and are largely from the little-known Precambian period that predates human life. Repositioned within the manmade structure of the hut, these natural objects reflect how our understanding of the past is framed and constructed. The contained mountain also provokes our capacity to imagine a space beyond our known landscape.

Richard Rigg was born in Cumbria in 1980. He holds a BA in Fine Art from Newcastle University and was nominated for the Northern Art Prize in 2011. Rigg has appeared in many group exhibitions including Cage Mix: Sculpture & Sound at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (2010) and Broken Fall (organic) at Galleria Enrico Astuni, Bologna, Italy (2011). He lives and works in Newcastle.

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