Richard Fenton studied at the Royal Academy Schools of Art and at Canterbury College of Art, and until 1990 taught art at various institutions. His work has been exhibited throughout Britain, and in America and Spain.
Fenton’s sculpture is preoccupied with the variety of natural and man-made structures from a global, cultural and historical point of view; from the human form to objects and fragments that are “left over from some domestic project at home”. Materials such as functional ceramic structures, bricks, wood and plastic forms have “always held some fascination” for the artist, and Fenton’s work seeks “to use an item as a mould such as a piece of plastic guttering, and turn that form into something structural with a certain beauty, interest and surprise”.
Transformation II is constructed from fibreglass, shaped by plaster casts from the internal side of a piece of plastic guttering with the same procedure used on the external surface. “I wanted my resin work to have a sense of weight, something like cast iron in appearance”, says Fenton.
The composition is based on a 1/3 scale working model, Transformation I, which has been here duplicated and the two casts brought together back-to-back. The work on display was born out of “a degree of play” with this prototype, which was subject to fragmentation and re-assembling in various positions. In an “abstract, formal way” Fenton interprets Transformation II as two shapes – even a pair of hands – reaching upwards, but ultimately leaves the interpretation resting on the viewer.
Photo of Richard Fenton: Henryk Hetflaisz