Peter Richards

unreliable recognition: an in-screen phase

Lockdown Residency

June 2020

Belfast, Northern ireland

Peter Richards

Peter Richards is an artist, curator and father, based at Flax Arts Studios, working at the Golden Thread Gallery, and living off the Shankill Road, Belfast. So far, throughout lockdown Richards has continued to work in the Gallery and has embraced being a part of his son’s home schooling. His studio practice has, until now, been temporarily suspended.

Prompted by how much time he is now spending ‘in-screen’ in video calls, meetings, creating content for social media; and the convergence of invitations to participate in the Lockdown Residency and the recent video exhibition Stabilimento Ostiense; Richards has re-engaged with one of his earlier performance/video works Untitled: Live video interaction. In this work he referred to how when he looked in the mirror, he saw his reflection and considered whether he saw himself the same way that others did. The work acted as a platform to test how mediation was impacting on the way he performed his daily life. 

With his cursory morning glance at the mirror now having been superseded by the extended gaze at his in-screen representation, Richards finds his idealised image of self to be inadequate under the scrutiny. He now finds himself encountering an unreliable recognition. 
The first week of the residency will be focussed on ‘doing’ and the second week on ‘showing/testing’. 

Richards often engages with interactions between re-presentation, time and referencing. His works can be seen as artistic enquiries into subjects, such as: how understanding is formed and truth is subscribed to; how we each have the capacity to suspend disbelief in order to continue believing in our chosen truths. 
In 2018 Richards participated in The Dollhouse micro residency, (NL) A programme that tests the role of scale, value, materiality and virtual worth in the art world today. Since the early 1990s he has presented work nationally and internationally, including Northern Irelands inaugural staging at the la Biennale di Venezia 51, The Nature of Things – The Long WeekendArtists from Northern Ireland. Further details about his artistic practise can be found at

Please be advised activity across both weeks will be interwoven around parenting. 
Audience Warning the project will be explicitly and unavoidably narcissistic.

Art Arcadia Lockdown Residencies are in partnership with St Augustine’s Heritage Site, kindly funded by Derry City & Strabane District Council.


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