In this new body of work exhibited at Houldsworth, Matthew Radford establishes a wider framework with which to consider his earlier pictures.
The namesakes for the exhibition are two large-scale paintings of the Earth. Entitled Us these canvases represent a proper and perhaps more appropriate scale from which to view his crowd paintings. Seen from the greatest distance of all, this orbital perspective aptly expresses our sameness and commonality. The Shroud paintings emphasise the transitory and temporary nature of our existence through fleeting glances. Arrived is an installation of intimate and searching paintings of foetuses, each in solitary and silent confinement. Permeating through the haze of the ultrasound scan are the delicate features and unique characteristics that set individuals apart from one another. For Radford, differences are established, not only in physiognomy but also the traits of temperament and personality, in these crucial developmental stages.
Radford´s new paintings echo the effects of visual media that distort and objectify people: through a camera´s lens, a security monitor or an old disintegrating film. However for this exhibition, Radford underlines the synchronicity of surveillance. Humanity is watching itself at all times and from a vast variety of distances. With optimism and fervour, Us delineates the cumulative progression of the human spirit.