Counterwork.co.uk is the website of Rich White. The title comes from a 1998 work Counterwork.
It was first launched in early 2001.
Its purpose is to provide an online platform for his work.
Current work involves physically altering (or appearing to alter) existing architecture in public and exhibition spaces. These architectural interventions are developed specifically for their location through research and site visits; responding to the architecture, history and current happenings in the area.
Through this he creates a narrative or story that evokes the collective subconscious - a visual reference that seeks to provoke thoughts about the location by drawing on elements of the locale. The final work often takes a simple form or pattern of structure which is intended to resonate with the viewer through its unexpected familiarity.
The work is built on-site often from materials found or reclaimed in the vicinity and integrated into the existing architecture. Afterwards the materials are recycled or returned for reuse. This conveys a connection to its location and influences its development. The work is at the whim of the materials he can find and at the mercy of their limitations.
Rich's aim is always to create something which speaks of, and to, the location it is created in. The creation of journeys, unexpected experiences and the revelation of forgotten facts or facets is at the core of his work. He achieves this through finding and creating resonant forms. He trys to uncover stories, little-known histories, anecdotes and personal recollections about locations, and from these develop sculptures or installations that allow viewers to explore and experience the narrative.
His approach to materials is playful and often ironic. He likes to use everyday materials found in the vicinity; discarded or surplus cardboard, leftover or used paper, and timber reclaimed from skips or demolition sites. He repurposes these materials, sometimes for a use that is the opposite of their usual application or which renders them absurd. This use of locally-sourced material further enhances the connection between the work and the location.
I’ve spent four days out of the last two weeks running a workshop at Oakwood School in St Albans. Here’s the result.
The work for Barnraising and Bunkers was completed on Wednesday. The exhibition opens on 4 May.
Second day of building at g39 in Cardiff over. One more day to go.
A long afternoon building in g39 for Barnraising and Bunkers.
Blog posts: 220
Last updated: 11.05.13
’Rich was able to turn a potentially provocative and difficult project into a successful and challenging piece that delighted, enthused and provoked audiences visiting the gallery space.’