Richie Culver | Leisure & Tourism

22 April - 29 May 2021

Born in Hull in the North of England into a working-class family, Culver was not exposed to art growing up and left school with no qualifications to work in a factory making caravans. His practice encompasses diverse elements that range from painting, sculpture and photography to digital performance. Within this, Culver’s work is largely biographical wrestling with aspects of social class, contemporary masculinity and the digital lens through which we live our lives.

 

The title of the exhibition ‘Leisure & Tourism’ relates to a college course that Culver was intending to enrol in as a teenager. In the UK, this particular course has often held a stereotype around it concerning the prospective students, in that it has regularly been reduced to the type of course done by young people who are disillusioned with school but feel the societal pressure to conform to the need for qualifications of some kind. Culver himself states that in his youth the appeal lay predominantly in the fact ‘Leisure’ was included within the course description. Within this vein, the overarching premise of the exhibition lies in presenting an inner dialogue between the artist in his present with his teenage counterpart. Featuring diary extracts and iconography of his teenage life, for example imagery from the horror movie poster of ‘Friday the 13th’ in Hobby and a central sculptural piece consisting of a worn-down sofa reminiscent of the teenage bedroom. The presentation of the sofa, centered in the exhibition and displayed vertically, acts as a form of metaphorical subversion of both the psyche and circumstances of the artist between the past and the present.