In that enchanted place at the top of the forest …
This week we continue to bring you behind-the-scenes insight into Kelly Richardson’s work in conjunction with the exhibition Kelly Richardson: Legion, on view through June 9.
In Twilight Avenger, 2008, viewers initially find themselves staring at what appears to be a nighttime scene of a forest. However, this tranquil setting is interrupted when a seemingly radioactive green stag meanders into the frame and pauses to nose around. By introducing incongruous imagery to a classic Romantic landscape reminiscent of forest fables and fairy tales, Richardson has created a scene that is more science-fiction film than Aesop’s Fables, cleverly challenging our preconceived notions of what is real in both nature and art.
The high technical level Richardson achieved in this work is nothing less than astonishing; it is especially evident when the reality of its creation is explored against the seamless experience the viewer has when encountering the work. Richardson actually filmed the components for Twilight Avenger in several settings across three continents, later combining the footage during the editing process. The stag was filmed in Jedburgh, Scotland; the background was filmed in Kielder, England; and the massive tree that holds the foreground was filmed in Algonquin Park, Canada. Richardson was kind enough to share images of each setting with us, which we are sharing here with you—a bit of a spoiler, we know, but sometimes it’s fun to peel back the layers of a work to its naissance.