Absence, ambition and abandonment, the cornerstones of Elvis Richardson’s art practice build emotional and politically charged narratives that scrutinise the inequities around issues such as housing, diversity, aging, identity and recognition. Treasuring the intimacies of ordinary lives, Richardson collects, and curates personalised objects and imagery she extracts from public sources and re-constructs them as the raw materials of her studio practice. Her works employ kitsch and formalist approaches and mediums to comment on taste, class, the sublime and her own agency as an artist when also trapped in an aspirational exposure-based system of certain economic precarity.
Richardson’s objects and images disrupt the everyday commodification of lifestyle to satirically expose the promises, disappointments and contradictions that we all live with.
Exhibitions include Force Fields, Kyneton Contemporary Art Triennial (2018); Unfinished Business: Perspectives on art and feminism, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2018); Versus Rodin: Bodies across space and time, Art Gallery of South Australia (2017); CCP Declares: On the Social Contract, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2016); Octopus 15: Lost and Profound, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (2015); and Transmission: Legacies of The Television Age, National Gallery of Victoria (2015). Richardson has been the director of a number of artist run initiatives including First Draft (96/97), Elastic (99/00), Ocular Lab (08/10) DEATH BE KIND (2010/12) and True Estate (2017/18). Richardson is the founding editor of CoUNTess,(www.countesses.blogspot.com) a blog publishing data on gender representation in the Australian visual arts sector. The Countess Report 2016 (www.thecountessreport.com.au) was released in 2016 a sector wide bench marking data collection project, and which re-launched as The Countess Report (www.countess.report) in 2017 in collaboration with Amy Prcevich and Miranda Samuels and producing the updated 2019 Countess Report.
Richardson’s works are held in the collections of Artbank, City of Fremantle, and the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art. Elvis Richardson was born in 1965 Sydney, and currently lives in Melbourne.