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ArtWeLove: Richard Foster

 Tuesday, 28th February, 2017

Ali Hilman talks form, light and inspiration with acclaimed still life photographer Richard Foster.

The Hospital Club is pleased to announce the first ever exhibition of Foster’s personal work: a collection of abstract and figurative photographs taken over the last ten years since the car accident which paralysed him from the chest down.

The exhibition will be opened to the public from 3rd-5th March.

Your sense of volume and three dimensional form seems to play a central focus in your work. When you consider portraying an object in still-life how do you decide to light it?

The wonderful thing about photography is that I can decide where light falls and where it doesn't. This allows me to guide the viewers eye to one place then the next. I can tell the story I want to tell. Be it the sheen on a stag beetle's shell or the refraction of light through a simple drip of water. A long thin diffused eye light or a pin source hard spot light. Each is selected to tell the story.

This exhibition spans nudes, wildlife and minimalist works. What is the process in determining your subject matter?

I seem to find beauty and wonder in the most mundane of objects. I have just published a book which was split into two halves. The first half was 'The Beauty of Abstraction'. The second half was 'The Abstraction of Beauty'.

You have noticed I seem to enjoy how light falls on any object. Whether I am playing with triple shadows landing on the background with no recognisable objects, to light falling on two female hips. The abstraction of nature leaves the viewer unsure if they are looking at the human form or a landscape. I like the shapes and textures light can create. So in reply I seem to celebrate beauty in the abstract world and enjoy abstracting the natural world.

What inspires you? Can you identify what drives your creativity?

The unexpected details in the world that surrounds me. I have been taking pictures for over 20 years now and I am still astonished by the unexpected beauty around us. I am still learning to look and I'm still trying to remind myself to stop and look. As I write this my iPad screen has just gone black and I have just seen an aeroplane flyover reflected in that black screen. Rather a beautiful idea for a moving piece in the future.

What are you working on next?

You asked earlier how I choose my subject matter and my two new personal projects show you the diversity of the opportunities that are around me.

I am collaborating with an amazing paper sculptor. I have an idea for a small moving piece playing with off centred circles, the camera movies and the tunnel of circles change perspective. Pretty abstract and maybe a little too abstract to describe in clearly in words.

I am also shooting a book for Nick Fiddian Green, a sculptor who produces enormous 10-metre horse's head sculptures. There was one just by Marble Arch. We are placing them in the landscape shooting them from dawn till dusk.