Collect 2024


Richard Goldsworthy


Scottish Borders




Wood, Metal

Richard Goldsworthy creates sculptural works in wood and cast metal exploring the fusion of contrasting materials. Inspired by his own metal spine support, Richard’s practice combining these materials is a natural extension of his transformative experience after a debilitating back injury.     The process of acquiring green wood plays a pivotal role in Richard’s artistic practice. Through carving, sanding, and burning, he introduces striking contrasts that unveil, accentuate, and celebrate the natural characteristics and perceived flaws of the wood. It is a delicate equilibrium between his creative input and restraint, allowing the materials to find their own voice and leave their distinctive mark.    Richard holds a BA in Sculpture from Edinburgh College of Art. He has exhibited regularly since graduating in both group and solo exhibitions including The Scottish Gallery (Edinburgh) and Royal Scottish Academy (Edinburgh).  

In conversation

1. Tell us about your practice and what led you down your chosen path as a maker.

Since childhood, my artistic journey has been fuelled by a fascination with natural materials and sculptural forms, finding its focal point in wood during my time at university. A pivotal moment for me was breaking my back, which turned my work in wood into a profound reflection of my bodily experience. Evolving from this connection, my practice involves an active engagement with materials, especially wood and pewter, melding them together through intricate processes to craft sculptural forms. My work is a delicate balance between my input and allowing the materials to find their own voice, to make their own mark.

2. Tell us about your materials.

My work is deeply rooted in locally sourced materials. I make use of a variety of woods, each possessing its own distinct properties. A key element of my practice involves utilising storm-felled wood, not just for its sustainability but also for the remarkable flexibility it offers during the drying phase. Each wood species contributes unique qualities, drying and splitting in its own distinctive way. Delicately introducing the wood into my warm studio during the drying process adds a dynamic touch. This, in turn, shapes the individuality of each piece—it's a collaborative dance with nature that defines my artistic approach.

3. Can you share more about the process behind your Collect 2024 collection?

Many of the techniques I'll showcase at Collect have evolved over the past 5 years. A central method involves charring the wood, infusing pieces with depth, weight, and striking contrast. I leverage this technique to emphasise natural cracks and splits, allowing the wood to speak through the work. A notable feature in my work involves casting pewter into the wood, following its natural shape and growth rings. This process holds personal significance, stemming from a 2017 injury where I broke my back. This fusion of materials has become a distinctive aspect of my work.

4. What inspired your collection for Collect 2024?

The collection is a reflection of my practice. These days, inspiration primarily stems from my daily walks. I immerse myself in the natural shapes found in trees, branches, and even intriguing discoveries like wishing stones from the shore, budding seeds and other things that catch my eye. These walks are a rich source of inspiration, offering a diverse palette of shapes and forms that find their way into my work.

5. Tell us about your approach to sustainable making in this work.

Sustainability is at the heart of my practice and is reflected in the works for this show. All the wood I use is storm felled and I only use natural drying processes. The pewter cast into my work is sourced from charity shops, recycling a variety of different pewter products, to ensure the creation of my work has a minimal environmental impact.

6. What do you hope the viewer will take away from this work?

My hope is the viewer will find beauty not just in the art but also in the inherent character of the materials. Beyond appreciating the crafted forms, I want them to fall in love with the materials themselves, discovering new dimensions within each piece. 


Photography by the artist

Richard Goldsworthy


Sculpture. Part charred birch.

30 x 45 x 30cm


Photography by the artist

Richard Goldsworthy


Sculpture. Charred sycamore and pewter.

30 x 114 x 67cm


Photography by the artist

Richard Goldsworthy


Sculpture. Part charred ash.

35 x 111 x 33cm


Photography by the artist

Richard Goldsworthy


Sculpture. Part charred beech and pewter.

35 x 35 x 200cm - Online Exclusive


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