Michelle Thomas Richardson
BIOGRAPHY: Michelle Thomas Richardson is a native of Dallas, Texas. She achieved her Master of Fine Arts degree in Drawing and Painting at the University of North Texas in 2015 after earning her BFA from Louisiana State University. Richardson was named a grant recipient of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Awards to Artists through the Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough Fund in 2016. She has also been a Nasher Microgrant finalist as well as a CADD FUNd finalist in 2015. She has shown throughout Texas and has held solo exhibitions of her work at venues including Ro2 Art, Lillian Bradshaw Gallery, and Clamp Light Gallery. In addition to her studio practice, Richardson currently works as a Public Art Project Manager with the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
STATEMENT: An experience of space begins with the relationships between elements of an environment and its architecture, but more importantly, the viewer’s increased awareness of their own relationship to those same features. I am interested in how our physical reality can be perceived, and how our internal reality can be affected. Responding to a given space, the combination of two-dimensional and three-dimensional works I create open a dialogue about our lived environment(s).
Though I utilize a variety of media, I am often drawn to fabric as a material for installation because of its relationship to painting and drawing as well as its permeability. Its loose, airy quality, and inherent ability to invite space as an additional element within its surface have become increasingly important to my work. The material itself is also common, equitable, and inclusive; the tactility of fabrics offers familiarity within an unusually-made environment.
These impactful installations partner with a space to become one living, breathing entity. In tandem with my work, the space becomes physically felt as the viewer becomes part of a system where the only constant is oneself. Presented as one environment, my latest work creates a unique combination of perspectives that highlights the connections between individual space, our current space in time, and space in history as a means of questioning and understanding lived reality. The charged space creates a multilayered experience both physically and psychologically in an ongoing narrative.