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Richard Heeps

What is your earliest memory associated with art?

Record covers and the Sunday Magazine supplements from newspapers.

Please describe your practice for us in 3 adjectives

Analogue, Colour, Photography

Listen to Richard Heeps talk about his art and life


Has the experience of lockdown changed your art practice?

Not really but it has changed my art business as I used to travel to international art fairs. I appreciate learning to bend to the restrictions placed upon us.

Do you listen to radio, music or audio books… when you are creating?

Music. I am particularly enjoying Durutti Column CDs right now.

Please could you tell us who or what has had the most significant influence on you as an artist.

My father, watching him take pictures whilst on Sunday drives in the Fens when I was a child.

What’s the best thing about being an artist?

Doing what you want to do. Of course that’s not entirely true, you can’t 100% do what you want to do but I appreciate that my freedom of expression through art is available to me.

And the worst..!?

Financing the process

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When we can travel again, what international art destination do you most want to visit?

Everywhere, anywhere will do right now. I see every bit of a place as art.

What work of art would you most like to own?

‘Bathers at Asniers’ by Serurat

Which artist (alive or dead) would you most like to have dinner with and why?

Andy Warhol. I think he’d be pretty interesting, I feel a great connection to his approach to art in my own practice.

Please could you tell us about the piece of artwork you are most proud and why.

A picture from my series Ordinary Places called ‘Stonemason’s Workshop’, taken in Northwich in 1986. It seems quite ordinary but actually I had to take an extremely considered approach to achieve it, balancing the interior light and the exterior light, it was a long process of many sketches and technical experiments to achieve the final almost surreal result. I love how simple it looks but actually there is a lot to it and I love the painterly quality which has been created through years of work by the Stonemason. I think on the one hand it looks like art but on the other hand it is very much documentary photography.

If you weren’t an artist what would you be?

Maybe an architectural restorer.

What advice would you give to those aspiring to make a living out of art?

Exploit every opportunity that comes your way to the full.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Shoot more even more. Financial restrictions were a big barrier to this at the time, film, processing, printing and equipment were a huge expense but reflecting I do wish I’d shot more.

What is your primary goal for 2021?

To make a new book.

What do you need to help you achieve your goal?

Time, money and manpower.

What is the most important thing to know about you?

I respect the old and the new and how they can work together.

Please tell us one unexpected thing about yourself.

I am green red colour blind

Final words…

These are challenging times but they are also very interesting times.

The second half of my career is very interesting in this age of digital communication. My partnership with Pure began as a reaction to lockdown 1, and I have made genuine relationships through it.

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Pure Arts Group is the trading name of Pure Arts Limited. Company No. 07547791

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