Kelly Richardson is a Canadian artist born in Ontario in 1972. She studied fine and media arts and received her undergraduate degree from the Ontario College of Art & Design and her master’s degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Canada and Newcastle University.
She is considered to be a forerunner in a new generation of artists using digital technologies. With this technology Richardson creates hyper-real natural landscapes with futuristic, alien elements.
Richardson’s work is created with video, photography and special effects, altering real footage with digital constructions. The result is highly atmospheric scenery portraying a futuristic glimpse at humanity’s progress and destruction.
Murray Whyte from the Toronto Star describes Richardson’s piece The Erudition as having “a sense of a very distant future trying, in its techno-sterile way, to recreate virtually something it never actually knew”. The piece is a multi-screen video installation portraying a peaceful rocky, natural terrain under a dark starry sky. The focus of the piece is the flickering holographic trees, out of place on the landscape and creating an uneasy juxtaposition of the old, natural world and the impressive technologies of the future. Whyte’s analysis suggests that the piece is placed in the future with technology attempting to grasp the simple presence of trees, lost long ago as humanity advanced.
Twilight Avenger is a piece showing a misty and moonlight forest in hues of blue and the green of the forest floor. The imagery is of spectacular quality and atmosphere, amongst the trees is a ghostly stag that appears to be made of a thick gas, a shade of radioactive green. The scene is peaceful but curious; the stag’s presence seems natural but somewhat unsettling due to its seemingly synthetic nature. It’s easy to assume the toxic green cloud that makes the stag is a product of humanity, which makes the viewer ponder our effect on nature and the consequences in the future.