David Rickard | echoes from the sound barrier

David Rickard, X, C-Type Photographs, 2018
David Rickard | echoes from the sound barrier | Ashburton Art Gallery



Internationally-acclaimed contemporary artist David Rickard returns home for a solo exhibition in Ashburton this summer. It will be one of the few exhibitions his family will have seen of his work, since he left New Zealand in his early twenties, “I’m really interested to see what people make of it,” David says.


Rickard was born in Ashburton (1975) and attended Ashburton College before studying architecture at Auckland School of Architecture and fine art at Academia di Brera, Milan and Central Saint Martins in London. Now based in London, UK and working widely with institutions and galleries throughout Europe this will be Rickard’s first solo exhibition in New Zealand.


“We are thrilled to be working with an artist of Rickard’s calibre and excited to see how our local community respond to his contemporary and conceptual practice” says Ashburton Art Gallery Manager/Curator Shirin Khosraviani.


Echoes from the Sound Barrier will bring together a number of recent works, including several pieces created in New Zealand prior to the exhibition. These works consider movements and relationships that are typically imperceptible, including geographic relationships that span antipodes, the weight of air and the constant revolution of the earth. The exhibition ranges from sculpture to performance, film, photography and sound.


David uses research and experimentation to attempt to understand how we arrived at our current perception of the physical world and how far our perception is from what we call reality.  “There’s often a big difference between what we think we see and what actually exists,” David explains, “these slippages make openings for other conversations about relationships to our surroundings and sense of place.”


Visitors to the Gallery will be welcomed in the foyer with a new work AWEIGH which will span the double-height space with anchors from Greymouth, New Zealand and Porto Vigo, Spain. Previously separated by the earth between them these anchors will form a direct bond that introduces the concepts of place, journey, and gravity; which continue through Rickard’s exhibition within the main Gallery space.


Upstairs, the work Distant Rhythm takes the form of a pair of drum sticks, hand carved from a Mangrove Tree in Kopu, New Zealand and an Olive tree in Algaidas, Spain. Played in a cadence rhythm, these two sticks now swap from one side of the world to the other with every beat, compressing geographical space through rhythm.


Also crossing continents are the photographs that document the work X, developed remotely with locals in French Polynesia, Brazil, Mozambique and Western Australia. Four wooden markers were driven into the ground at the same latitude and separated by exactly 90 degrees longitude, creating through collaboration tips of a giant ‘X’ that spans the globe. It is this connection between people and places that underlines the exhibition, offering visitors the opportunity to consider their own place within this dizzying place we call our current reality.


David’s work has been published in articles and interviews within The New York Times, The Independent, Frame, Kunstbeeld, Drome and Flash Art among others. His exhibition history spans solo exhibitions in Milan, London, Basel, Rotterdam and Brussels.


David Rickard is represented by CØPPERFIELD, London, UK and Michela Rizzo, Venice, Italy.


Exhibition opening and talk | 27 November | 6pm | All welcome

Exhibition available | 28 November — 20 February 2020


Gallery Hours:

Open Daily 10am – 4pm

Open Wednesday 10am – 7pm


Exhibition details:

David Rickard | Echoes from the Sound Barrier

28 November 2019 to 20 February 2020
Admission: Free.  All welcome.

For more information, and high-res images contact:

Martine Tait
Business and Communications Assistant
Ashburton Art Gallery
03 308 1133

Written by

Ashburton Art Gallery

13 Nov 2019