Mark Richards - Jenny, Ian, Simon, Steve, Ruby

Mixed media on parchment, 2016. Meadow Arts commission 2016. Photo Stefan Handy.

Mark Richards - Jenny, Ian, Simon, Steve, Ruby

Mixed media on parchment, 2016. Meadow Arts commission 2016. Photo Stefan Handy.

Mark Richards - Jenny, Ian, Simon, Steve, Ruby

Mixed media on parchment, 2016. Courtesy the Artist

Mark Richards - the artist in his studio

Working on an illuminated manuscript. Courtesy the Artist.

Jenny, Ian, Simon, Steve, Ruby

Mixed media on parchment

Calligraphy by Angela Swan (Simon, Steve, Ruby), Courtesy the artist

Meadow Arts commission 2016

These works re-create Facebook posts as mediaeval illuminated manuscripts. On the one hand, they are a tender celebration of the sharing of thoughts, ideas, experiences and aspirations; on the other, by referencing the exclusive and arcane nature of the earliest of books, they suggest the involuntary archiving of self-expression that sits behind the casual interface of our digital lives.

For this series, which links one of the earliest forms of publishing to a most recent and digital one, Richards researched and taught himself a number of reputably difficult techniques that go back centuries. The process of creating illuminated manuscripts was originally carried out in mediaeval  monasteries by dedicated groups of highly skilled monks for whom this was a spiritual and devotional, as well as functional, exercise.

Mark Richards

Mark Richards draws upon imagery and traditions associated with religious worship, contemplation and embellishment. He creates work that explores the space left as these once potent symbols and practices diminish in our culture.

Mark Richards FRBS is a sculptor working in the tradition of commission-led design and execution in the private, institutional and public realms. Richards has built an international reputation for work that exhibits both cohesive composition and great beauty of form. His work includes sculptures and portraits of The Royal Family, commemorative statues of The Gordon Highlanders in Aberdeen city centre and, most recently, the renowned hurling legend, Nickey Rackard in Wexford.

Visit Mark Richards' images online

markrichardsilluminations.tumblr.com