Richard Grayson

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16 January - 14 March

Richard Grayson

Richard Grayson 
Richard Grayson, Messiah, 2004 (Installation View). Courtesy the artist and Matt's Gallery, London.

Richard Grayson’s work is energised by the kind of cultural collisions that make contemporary life exciting. Inspired by the correlation of apparently unconnected cultural artifacts and phenomena, Grayson investigates the importance of language and narrative in how we comprehend the world. Through the use of playful or decorative forms, Grayson is able to engage his audience with complex and difficult ideas. We are encouraged to participate in a critical and perhaps subversive view of humanity that encompasses astrology, religion, politics, the global economy and extra-terrestrial life. As a retrospective of his work from
the past five years, the exhibition brings together prints, drawings and films by Grayson for the first time.

Richard Grayson is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London and Yuill/Crowley Gallery, Sydney.

Magpie Index


A new work by Richard Grayson will be showing for the first time as part of this exhibition.

The Magpie Index - a co-commission by Locus + and the De La Warr Pavilion -  is a single screen high-definition video installation which focuses on  the English singer-songwriter and recording artist Roy Harper,  who delivers a series of monologues, largely as a talking head. The work is a series of addresses by Harper on aspects of his work, his philosophy and history.

Roy Harper released his first record in 1966 and became revered by contemporaries such as Led Zeppelin for the uncompromising way he followed the dictates of his conscience rather than the prerogatives of the music business.

His work and the way that he has conducted himself is erratic, independent and informed by a strong personal and ethical vision. He has used his songs and writings to propose alternative histories of culture, launch attacks on establishment positions and to critique social, political and religious operations.  In many ways he came to exemplify the ‘counter culture’ and its attitudes as it was developed in the sixties and early seventies. Over the last four decades he has maintained his voice raging against what he sees as wrong in mainstream society and has sought to model and articulate ideas of individual freedom.

The project is not a music documentary. It is a work about an individual and a body of beliefs operating from a position consciously ‘outside’ mainstream ideas and attitudes. The Magpie Index hopes to reveal the ways that a fierce personal vision has developed and how this might have shaped the belief systems of a cultural movement.


messiah 300 2.jpg

messiah 300.jpg
Richard Grayson, Messiah, 2004. Courtesy the artist and Matt's Gallery, London.

Messiah is a dual projection video work in which an Australian country and western band perform new musical settings for the libretto of Handel’s 1742 oratorio Messiah. The band use the language of country rock in the new tunes that only occasionally reference the original melodies –The Hallelujah Chorus for example.

Messiah is scheduled for presentation at the 2010 Sydney Biennale.

The Golden Space City of God

This large-scale video installation features a new choral work written by Leo Chadburn and performed by a 26-piece choir from Texas. Taking text from a website of The Family, a movement grown out of the 1960s American Christian cult Children of God, the work tells of the extraordinary events leading up to their version of the end of the world, culminating in the chosen being taken away on the biggest spaceship ever built.

For this presentation Gallery 2 has been re-figured so the viewer sits in a set resembling a church or community hall.

Richard Grayson 
Richard Grayson, The Golden Space City of God, 2009 (installation view). Courtesy the artist and Matt's Gallery, London.

Ways the World Ends

Ways the World Ends is a series of prints that use texts found on the internet that prophesize the end of the world and presents them in decorative, spiralling forms and acid colours.


Colliders combines ariel photographs of Large Hadron Collider sites with texts extracted from blogs experessing concern at the implications of the form of scientific research.


Intelligence is an ongoing series of hand drawn computer generated commentaries and starcharts of people associated with the current Middle East situation.

Tombs of Christ

Tombs of Christ are five pencil drawings of sites taken from the internet, all of which are believed to be the burial place of Jesus Christ.


Richard Grayson was a founder member of the Basement Group in Newcastle upon Tyne 1979-1984, the Director of the Experimental Art Foundation Adelaide from 1992- 1998, and was the Artistic Director of the 2002 Sydney Biennale: (The World Maybe) Fantastic.

As an artist, he has had numerous solo exhibitions nationally and internationally and has curated many shows including Secret Service, seen at the De La Warr Pavilion in January 2007.

Sat 16 Jan 2010-
Sun 14 Mar 2010

Tickets: Free entry

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01424 229 111
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