Participating once again in 'Art in Mayfair', Savile Row bespoke tailor and shirt-maker Dege & Skinner is proud to present the work of artist and former Royal Marine, Richard Rochester.
Born in 1967, Richard grew up in the fishing village of Lympstone in Devon. After school he initially trained as a jeweller but went on to take a degree in Fine Art at Exeter College of Art and Design and graduated in 1991.
Yearning for adventure, just three months after graduation he entered the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and began a military career that lasted 18 years, initially in the Army infantry and later in the Royal Marines. During this time he travelled widely and served operationally in Bosnia Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan.
Richard left the military in 2012 and briefly ran a veterans' charity project before focussing his full attention on art. He now lives and works in Exeter in the South West of England.
The piece that will be displayed in the window at Number 10 Savile Row is titled ‘In Parenthesis’ (2011). The 6ft installation, which will be on display for the duration of Art in Mayfair, features a WW1 military stretcher with plaster of Paris moths adorning it. Plaster of Paris was traditionally used by both artists and medics.
Made in early 2011 ‘In Parenthesis’ was a reflective piece as Richard approached the end of his military career. For a number of reasons the piece provided a rather cathartic emotional release. The title is borrowed from David Jones’ haunting and epic prose-poem based on his experiences in the First World War. In his prologue he describes his war years as written in a ‘kind of space between’ and describes the war itself as a parenthesis. Similarly, the years of Richard's military service sit somewhat incongruously between his leaving Art College and then re-engaging with the art making process some twenty years later.
In this work, as with many of his works, Richard has presented the piece as a kind of riddle with clues in the materials and layered references which are sometimes literal, but often deliberately ambiguous to entice the viewers to discover their own meaning.
Dege & Skinner
10 Savile Row