Thames-Side Studios Lounge (Unit 0)

Nick Richards, Silent Highway
Exhibition Dates: 6 January - 19 February 2017

Nick Richards is a printmaker based at Thames-Side Studios. He studied Fine Art at Bristol Polytechnic and graduated from the RCA in 1986.

The river runs through the work: watching the ebb and flow of the tide on his daily journeys to and from the studio, Nick combines observation with memory and re-imagined motifs. It is the combination of the vernacular and something invented that forms the basis of what he does. The river is a living thing in a constant state of flux. Its tides reveal glimpses of its past and covers it again, and the sounds along its course point to a time when it was a working river – the voices, machinery, sand ships and river tugs, or the Clipper powering down the channel.

A multiplicity of etching processes drives Nick’s practice. Rather than use hard or soft ground, he will aquatint a plate and bite it. “Because I enjoy the action of the acid I prefer aquatint to mezzotint. I like immersing the plate in the acid and laying on successive aquatints with sugar lift and spit bite, which are both spontaneous techniques.” — from Nick Richards in conversation with Louise Cattrell.

The Port
A port is a lovely place for a soul grown weary of life's struggles.
The breadth of the sky, the mobile architecture of the clouds,
the changing colours of the sea, the winking lighthouses
make a prism marvellously suited to please the eyes without
ever tiring them. The slender form of intricately rigged ships,
swaying in harmony with the swell, sustains the soul's love of
rhythm and beauty. And then, most of all, for the person now
empty of curiosity and ambition, there is a sort of mysterious
and aristocratic pleasure in watching, from the comfort of a
belvedere or elbows on the jetty wall, the movements of people
leaving, people returning, those still with the force to want, the
desire to journey or enrich themselves.

Baudelaire, 1864

Download the information sheet and list of works pdf here
For further information on Nick Richards go to

Images: Nick Richards, Silent Highway, installation view detail and individual works, 2017, courtesy the artist. Full work details available on pdf.