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Profile - Tory Richards

Artists Statement

All aspects of our lives are interconnected. That connectedness gives a sense of who we are and what is important. I feel I have an obligation to communicate in an accessible manner through my art on current matters of importance as I see it. I am looking to bring to the forefront a heightened awareness of issues and possibilities. In a philosophically optimistic way, I hope to find alternative ways to provide perspective on a subject, whether it be of a most intimate nature or of greater public import.

My work aims to move the viewer, to access their personal space and help to find a certain peaceful resolution to an issue. My techniques are explorative, reactive, courageous and sensual, aiming for viewers to enjoy a concentrated visual experience and come away with a response to an idea, an impression or feeling that becomes important to them. I hope to connect and present a notion to the observer that can then be resolved with a hopeful message.

Copper Bloods

The lives of all living beings are interconnected. Yet that connectedness is elusive and mostly unseen. The concept for my works will be based on an investigation in to the fascinating unseen forces that move all living creatures, the common essence of spirit and emotion.

Having spent some wonderful childhood years near the the Bougainville Copper Mine I have long been a lover of copper, which I now use solely in my printmaking practice. The direct association with Octopus is the common high content and dependence on copper for life. Octopus have copper based blood (instead of iron based blood) and are the ‘blue bloods’ of the oceans.

Octopus, or Coleoids – part of the Cephalopod family of invertebrates, have an uncanny, problem- solving intellect. They are fascinating and beautiful and are under considerable threat due to changing environmental conditions. They have three hearts, nine brains, can fly fifty metres through the air, problem solve and make hilarious strategic manoeuvres, artfully change colour and texture, change body shape to mimic other poisonous creatures, are protective of their own and have been known to make great friends with divers.

As a devout nature lover, I wish to raise awareness of these inspirational, precious creatures and promote Octopus in particular, or ‘Copper Bloods’ as I have termed this body of work, as something so much more than a food source to voraciously consume without thought.