Richard Sweeney ‘s practice is centered around the hands-on manipulation of materials to create sculptural forms.
Richard Sweeney is an artist based in Wakefield. He graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2007 and his practice combines the disciplines of craft, sculpture, design and photography, resulting in a varied output of work including numerous public sculpture commissions.
Richard Sweeney primarily works with paper – starting out by experimenting with scoring and folding it in repetitive patterns, bringing in slight variations to form pieces that can then be manipulated to make different shapes. Often the paper finds the shapes itself, or returns to its preferred shape after it’s been manipulated. The scoring patterns are very simple – for example two curves repeated linearly across the page – and it is this idea of finding a system or a framework for the material to work within that fascinates him. As in nature, shapes are not arbitrary and design isn’t constricted by total freedom. Working within a strict geometric framework releases creativity, varying the amount of control he has over a piece and letting chance and accident also play a role. Everything is done through making, bringing material to the forefront of the form making process.
Created using scored and folded paper over a wooden armature, the Olympic Horses were commissioned for display in the nave of Lincoln Cathedral during the 2012 Lincoln flower festival: Dreams of Gold.