“A sense of awe that mirrored the sonically heavy sound of Metallica”
Explaining that her work wasn’t actually made for specifically Metallica, Richardson says the piece “Halo” would normally be seen in large-scale gallery installations but in this case was projected behind the band during filming. “There’s an eclipse In ‘Halo’ and at one point you actually see [guitarist] James Hetfield inside the eclipse,” Richardson says in this April 7 interview with CBC Radio’s As It Happens.“That’s my favourite moment in the video.”
As noted in the CBC story, “72 Seasons” director Tim Saccenti and visual art curator Dina Chang thought Richardson’s art resonated with what they were trying to accomplish. “Aside from being longtime fans of her work, we both felt Kelly’s pieces had a particular kind of monumental grandeur, a sense of awe, that mirrored the sonically heavy sound of Metallica,” Saccenti said in an email to CBC. “There’s a primal unease to her pieces that cuts to your core.”
See the As It Happens story to read more about the filming of the Metallica video and how the video’s 100-person creative and technical team went “silent in respect” when Richardson’s work was projected. “It was a perfect mix of spectacle and emotion, creating a near mythological environment to capture the band in,” says Saccenti.
Following the As It Happens piece, Richardson’s story was subsequently reported on both CBC News and CBC Music sites, as well as individual interviews with the Times Colonist, CTV (local and national) and iHeart Radio; it was also picked up by The Zone radio station, Capital Daily, Galleries West, UVic’s Campus Checklist, Canadian Art Junkie and it appeared on a number of reposting sites like Flipboard, IG News, Newstral, Spoutible, PiPa News, News-24.fr, CanadianNewsMedia.ca, OneNewsPage, Her-News.com, TOPNews.media and the West Observer, among others.
A worldwide platform
With current exhibits on now in the UK & Montreal, and shows just recently closed in Belgium & LA, Richardson’s work is designed to be digitally exhibited at galleries on screens — but when the April 13 72 Seasons worldwide listening party hits theatres for one night only, it will be the first time her imagery will appear simultaneously across the globe.
Richardson happily admits she was “a huge Metallica fan” in her early 20s, and says she’s pretty blown away by the whole thing. “The young version of me can’t quite get my head around my work being in their music video!”
Both Metallica video director Tim Saccenti and visual art curator Dina Chang had used digital versions of work by other artists in previous videos and have been following (and collecting) Richardson’s work for some time, so they approached her about exclusively using three of her pieces — “Halo” (2021) + “Origin Stories” & “Origin Stories (AR) (2023)” — in this particular video.
Not that it’s the first time her work has meshed with rock music: she appeared on stage at 2022’s Rifflandia music festival in Victoria as part of the team behind Visual Arts MFA Rande Cook’s Awinakola: Tree of Life research group.