Portals Plus, Derek Richards
June 3 to July 10, 2016
Arts Place Gallery, 714 King Street, Port Colborne
Hours: Thursday to Sunday, Noon to 4:30 p.m.
Derek was born in Montreal in 1937 and very early began to show a sense of the pictorial. The family moved to the picturesque Eastern Townships where Derek was given a Brownie camera and picked up a childhood interest in landscape and nature photography. Moving to New Brunswick and Europe with a father in the armed forces, he continued an interest in photography, experimenting with darkroom print-making, colour slides, and had a brief fling at free-lance photography.
Married, with 4 children, and after a period in Toronto working for the Ministry of the Environment, he eventually settled in St. Catharines in 1972, to work in computers at the Lincoln County Board of Education. Retired now, Derek’s experience in computers and small-scale computer publishing fostered an interest in digital illustration and printing.
His youthful attempts at chemical print-making have now come full circle with a new technology that provides all the facilities and techniques of the early photo darkroom, but in a context that increases productivity and brings the photo artist closer to achieving some of the expressive and interpretive freedom of water-colourists and other graphic artists. Derek also sees himself as part of a tradition that is sensitive not only to the inner promptings of the artist but to the identity and independence of the subject and its context in the world. Despite a weakness for close-range subjects such as flowers, rockscapes and doorways, he describes himself as a wide-angle, zoom-out kind of guy.