無常 (mujō) – Richard Elderton
In making the works in 無끽 (mujō), Richard Elderton tracks a sense of shifting significance that resonates through his paintings. 無끽 (mujō) is a Japanese proverb which means impermanence and transience in natural and human contexts. This comes to reflect the intentions of the paintings and Elderton’s own shifting perspective, drawing abstract connections between structures, isolating details and omitting or inferring narrative significance.
Elderton investigates tensions in Japanese and Western notions of art, realism and abstraction, science and spirituality. Through the conscious use of muted colours, loose impasto brushwork and altered depth within the composition, each image evokes a different restraint and rhythm, eliciting a sense of movement, suspense or gravitational force.
Solid rocks ripple with surprising moments of colour and cast unexpected shadows, fabric floats and gestures in the light, spheres shimmer with obscured reflections. The line between representation and abstraction is blurred and moments of colour emerge as the viewer moves about the works. Never fully revealing themselves, the paintings change, speak different things, depending on where the viewer looks from and interacts with them. These moments are what Elderton seeks to capture – a fleeting feeling, mysterious, inspiring and ephemeral.