While creating these paintings I imagined a radical group of people, communicating only by invisible means through the atmosphere, that collaborated independently of governments to rehabilitate the common lands and public spaces of their respective countries.
They called themselves informally ‘The Bureau of Reclamation’.
For this show Rucklidge has painted contested landscapes as they transition into a hopeful state of reclamation led by non-governmental groups of highly motivated people who communicate through invisible means via the atmosphere. As seeds and projects take root, this informal ‘Bureau of Reclamation’ slowly reclaims the treeless landscape and attempts to optimize its redevelopment as reclaimed public space. Utopian and Pre-Lapsarian states start to mingle amongst an overtaxed land recovering from heavy use. Colours purposely shift in and out of their descriptive function: for example the cobalt blue sitting on the surface of the weave of linen may be describing atmosphere or form or simply that this was the site of a cobalt mine. The paintings presented here record the hopeful nascent beginnings of this revolutionary reclamation project.
Andrew Rucklidge lives and works in Toronto, where he also teaches in the Department of Painting and Drawing at OCADU. He received his MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art in London 2003 and since then has shown internationally at The New Contemporaries in London, Store Gallery in London, John Connelly Presents in New York, Frieze Art Fair, Zoo Art Fair, The Armoury, NADA Miami, Volta Basel, Art Chicago, Berliner Liste, Art Cologne, DC Dusseldorf as well as the Scope art fairs and TIAF in Toronto. In 2013, he received both the K.M. Hunter Visual Artist Award and the Laura Ciruls Painting Award. His work is in collections such as UBS London, Zabludowicz 176 Collection London, Kunstmuseum Gotland Sweden, Soho House London and Toronto, Google, Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank.