Richard Galloway, ‘Fete’, 2013, India Dickinson

"I celebrate with bleak humour what is both ludicrous and enchanting about english life and society exploring themes of social change, conflict, faith and struggle.
My handymen, boxing bears, drinkers, pipe smoking Indians and children unflatteringly depicted sometimes but without cruelty make up my narratives. The narratives are developing in a new playful manner, they are growing street by street, park by park without boundaries or conservative concerns for content. I am taking ownership of my characters fates and directions, for the better or worse.
I conjured up an entirely imagined allegoric snapshot with the vantage point now zoomed out, a fictitious thriving sin-city made up of heroes and villains both are allowed to fail. Animals are tormented, children are shown how to steal and learn useless trades. Others fight back and try to win their own challenges no matter how silly.
Fete is my Summer Bonanza, where all manor can be won and lost, the idea of recreation, play, futility. Things which are not joined up, completed or simply do not work, the idea of destroying beauty if the price is right. Taking decisions which then have a direct domino consequence for somebody else are themes and ideas which are reoccurring in my work.
You can gain access with a simple idea, it does not have to be a good idea but an idea none the less. Electric fences keep out those who cannot commit to an idea.
The first activity is the truth blanket you arrive and pass you sin to a henchman, he decides the punishment usually a smacked bum. Once he has finished you can then pass your receipt with the sin onto the Indian he will again read the crime and smoke it away with white plumes, the confession is complete and you are forgiven.
In the ring a bear returns to his corner after another round of boxing. Dads take pictures on their smart phones while their children play with an oegiboard underneath the canvas.
A heavy drinker keeps the coconut shy kiosk filled with empty tins, the coconuts have long since gone. Ride the slide into a barrel of crude oil, it will not cushion the blow as the black mass seaps into the ground next to the snap a tree section. For a fee you can simply go and snap a sapling. The landscape is filled with broken memorial trees leaving the hill baron.
Dads queue up with their children each with a hand tool. They meet the carpenter to learn a tool, a simple demonstration takes place but there is no application taught. Off cuts are trimmed but they never get put together by the person with the hammer and nails.
Plug lucky dip, they choose a random plug and connect to the socket, only one is connected to the car battery. Blindly they make their choice they have no idea what the game is or its consequences on the other side of the screen a man is tethered to a chair with his feet in a bucket of water with the live cable. Punters can watch from behind the bars as the man is fried.
Finally you can bring your dreams to Fete. There is an In and an Out tray. The dreams are passed on paper to a decider. They never make the trays and are not even read they are just burned in the fire. Black smoke pummels into the air with people's unrealized unrecognized dreams.
These works have some dark places but also have a romantic and fun thread which is something I have been working with for a while." - Richard Galloway

About Richard Galloway

British, b. 1980, Northamptonshire, UK, based in Sweden