Reading at the Dot.Com Cafe, Toronto in 1997
Richard Preston is a Toronto based artist who has been experiencing artistically throughout his life. His earliest memories are of the pyramidal mark burned into his family's hardwood floor by an innocently turned on clothes iron and of the myriad tactile sensations provided by his first piece of cantaloupe at age 3. The essentials of these pre-self-conscious recollections can be recognized in the works made throughout his career.|
As a 'maker' he has consistently resisted the agenda of specialization in favour of a more holistic approach to creativity and creation, comparing his art practice to a multi-element stove top where various 'dishes' are shifted to larger or smaller burners, lesser or greater heat; a full meal rather than an extended snack.
Preston's work is imbued with the themes of relatedness, rootlessness, displacement and home; how universal forces replicate in the human the same forms exhibited in the Earth: the cycle of mountain building, the evidence of tectonic action, the forces of growth and decay, erosion - how a discontinuous continuity can be discerned through an in depth, patient observation and how we, as self-conscious beings, struggle to find personal relevance in this vast cosmos
Over time Preston has worked, and continues to work with painting, sculpture, mixed media, textile, bead, photography, printmaking, text, music and performance. His fascination with texture and shape dissolves the perceived borders traditionally thought to separate these areas of making.
A committed believer in the artificiality, and ultimately destructive nature of assumed boundaries Preston feels fortunate to be working in this epoch. His work combines the seriousness of the content with an oft times sense of mirth and an evocative sensuality, creating for the observer/participant a beckoning and welcoming environment.