Both Artistic and domestic partners, Russell and De La Riva have been working collaboratively together since 1997. Their work explores human relationships and the ambivalence of romantic attachment by reducing loving dialogue down to simple still and animated line drawings, sometimes accompanied by dislocated text. The images expose a sense of mutual fascination that is touching and tender yet desperate and tormented.
Russell and De La Riva’ s images and animations focus on habitual, perhaps archetypal patterns of relational behaviour where simplicity belies subtle layers of complexity. Their minimal, line drawn style, with figures often without facial features and clothing, offers a playful yet thought provoking look at the joy and pain that pervades relationships. Their work often shows lovers bound together but are they embracing or attempting to escape each other?
The question here is: are we lovers playing detectives or detectives playing at being lovers?