exploring expression with XAvia duke richards.

This week Xavia Duke Richards takes up residency at Incubator2 Chiltern Street. We went down to see what it was all about.

Walking into the main gallery space it feels like the works have been created with the space in mind.

They’re like living, breathing objects telling a story as you walk around each room.

Xavia is a Camberwell art student in his final year. His work in this show consists of abstract, thickly layered, impasto paintings.

They’re dense works that protrude from the canvas. Each one has gone through layers and layers of process, with multiple textures and materials being used – pigment, paint, plaster, hessian, and even sawdust.

The works are driven by Xavia’s expression of deep emotional states, but also a link to natural disasters and events.

Their contoured surfaces have been hacked at, gashed, and chiseled by the artist to create richly layered landscapes.

The blacks give way to blues, and reveal layers of netting underneath.

‘They have a life form of their own – there’s an evolution you can trace and really feel the energy that comes out of it’ Angelica Jopling, Incubator’s director explains.

‘Especially this one’ she takes me through to the far room where a particularly expressive piece is hanging, ‘it’s such a rugged surface, it’s got a lichen-like character.

The colours you wouldn’t see next to each other in nature, but it takes you to the bottom of the ocean, or a cliff face.

You can really see where the yellow on the surface gives way to layers of black and blue underneath, whilst red seems to grow on top.

Xavia introduces layers of hessian netting early in the process to create a structured, geometric pattern. ‘It’s almost architectural, trying to capture the chaos but then giving way to it as it becomes unmanageable.’

This impressive show is running daily from Thursday 5 May 12pm-7pm until Sunday 8 May at 2 Chiltern Street.

Anyone is welcome to drop by – and you can even grab a free can of Loah as you take a look around.

As part of the Loah Crew you are cordially invited to the launch evening on Wednesday 4 May from 5.30pm. Stop by, have a drink, and look at some nice art. What’s stopping you?