The collection in Kingdom’s Edge captures the colourful and, at times, clashing identities and traditions of different peoples living together, yet separately; their histories and cultures sometimes overlapping, and sometimes conflicting. Some of the photos use allusions, symbolism and subtle references, while others make a virtue of plainness and immediacy.
This book captures the spirit of humanistic reportage that is found with many of the legendary photographers. The collection of photos pinned to the noticeboard recalls the violence and outer-worldly horror of war in a similar manner to Paolo Pellegrin, as does the dead body lying coldly on the road, being silently examined in a soft bright light by a pathologist; while the empty despondent stares of survivors and victims have a raw immediacy and an appeal to the conscience that reminds one of Dorothea Lange or James Nachtwey. The photographs of children participating in rituals that they barely understand, that have been arranged for them by adults, is reminiscent of Werner Bischof’s work. The influence of Robert Capa can be seen in the stressful, get usually uneventful lives of soldiers and paramilitary members serving in the south, while the ambience and impressionism of Lisette Model can be seen in Richards photographs of nightlife and carnivals in the south. Additionally, the intimate documentation of the celebrations, rituals and traditions of the inhabitants of a remote and largely untouched place reminds one of Ed van der Elsken’s work.
Richard’s work maintains either a sympathetic distance or a respectful intimacy: at times, detached; at other times, raw and immediate. — Gerard McDermott