Richard William Wheater

United Kingdom 1978

Richard William Wheater
Richard William Wheater
United Kingdom
September 17, 2014
Music, Gestalt, .

Richard William Wheater is British artist that regularly works with glass and neon through performance and installation. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art, Alfred University USA and the University of Sunderland. Wheater gained notoriety for an ambitious project in 2008 titled ‘Them and Us’. Touring the UK with his mobile furnace he hot sculpted indigenous glass birds in their natural habitat, he then released them into the air in a ritualistic act, which both freed and destroyed them. An artist/performer committed to the act of making and the science of materials, his work is also ephemeral transitory art, involving place and people.

Richard’s own work has sought to think about neon as material rather than as sign. Trained as a glass maker, he founded Neon Workshops in 2008 to provide an artist friendly service for artists, and also to change a situation where most neon work in galleries is text commissioned from commercial sign makers. At the workshop, however, Richard works with skilled neon makers such as Julia Bickerstaff, who make the lettering. The proposal for Neon Lights would be Richard in the gallery for two weeks, doing everything himself. A neon installation by an artist poised between skilled professional and beginner.

In recent years an in-depth study of neon has involved equally image and media aware events such as ‘12 months of neon love’, in which a highly visible neon bill board  announced declarations of love, lines from popular songs which changed once a month. Other neon works made and put into action with groups of people aim to unite people with landscape as did his recent ‘Land to Sea’ project. Installations have been both site specific and gallery based. Wheater might start with making an object but it extends further. As a communicator, designer and artist he wants clarity and accessibility in the medium. He is highly qualified in glass making, art and teaching.

Richard William Wheater currently lives and works in Wakefield, UK.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014Neon NudesNeon Workshops, West Yorkshire, UKSolo
2014Are You Experienced?North Lands Creative Glass, ScotlandSolo
2012Them and Us/Land to SeaBournemouth, EnglandSolo
2012Burning FatNational Glass Centre, Sunderland, EnglandSolo
2012NEONEbeltoft, DenmarkGroup
2012What am I? (with Julia Bickerstaff)Paris, FranceGroup
2011I'm Electric You're Electric Manchester Craft And Design Centre, EnglandSolo
201112 MONTHS OF NEON LOVE (with Victoria Lucas) Wakefield, EnglandGroup
2010Neon Lights. Platform ProjectsSITE Gallery, Sheffield, EnglandSolo
2010Neon JulS12 Gallery, Bergen, Norway Group
2010Jerwood Contemporary MakersJerwood Space, LondonGroup
20092009 Disappearing PathsYorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, EnglandSolo
20092009 New Work In NeonTaschen store, London, EnglandSolo
20092009 Them And UsDean Clough Galleries, Halifax EnglandSolo
2008European Glass BiennaleBornholm, DenmarkGroup
2007Burning Fat. Eden ProjectCornwall, EnglandSolo
2007The London GroupMenier Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
2006Bird Factory 1,2 and 3Yorko Gallery, Harrogate, EnglandSolo
2006British Glass BienalleWest Midlands, EnglandGroup
2005Running With Llight To The SourceEdinburgh, ScotlandSolo
2003The Rise Of Natures ParadeSunderland, EnglandSolo