Richard Heys

I was born and raised in West Yorkshire, brought up on a farm nestled in Chew Valley. A valley of waterways and reservoirs over looked by the moors and grit stone crags of the Peak District. These rock strewn hillsides, rivers and springs became my rocky guardians and enlivened the landscape of my childhood and have remained in my inner life ever since. The potentiality of nature to suggest censure or succour informs my artistic practise to this day.

I work primarily as a painter and sculptor. In my drawing and painting I explore the suggestive nature of colour and form and the substance of paint and ground. For me painting has a hidden potential. As a search for meaning and authenticity, it becomes an essential expression of individuality and spirit. Each artwork is a statement arrived at through a long process accomplished by means of opaque and transparent layering. Absences and removals build tensions and a wealth of texture and meaning as one state supersedes another. The finished piece offers a new vantage point, a new "countenance" in the world, unique and radiant.

Currently I am working in Acrylics, and oils, with brush and squeegee. In heavier mediums I develop a dynamic between liquid and body, the transparent and opaque qualities in the paints, attempting to lose the materiality of paint, saturating the colours a they flow into the canvases, and building layers of colour with direct painting and glazing.

I have travelled widely and the landscapes and cityscapes I know and have visited appear again and again in my work. This elemental mood of place appears, often before I recognise it. I engage with music, literature and poetry to unlock my imagination, seeing them as keys to spaces beyond the everyday.
As a sculptor I engage with natural materials, creating work to compliment and enhance the surrounding natural or built environment. I establish a conversation between the sculpture and its surroundings, working with light and shade, the hidden and the seen and outer and inner through engaging the public to view the piece from different vantage points. I teach clay modelling to teacher trainees and nature phenomenological studies to sculpture students. I am passionate about learning and teaching the language of form through nature observation. Drawing and studying landscape and plant metamorphosis is a fundamental part of my artistic practice as is my awareness of contemporary praxis and thought, the dynamic between nature culture and human culture constantly feeds into my studio practise.

In painting and sculpture I work at different speeds, working in intense bursts of creativity, but also developing major pieces and series of work over months and years.


Spring on the Downs

Over the Forrest III

Nature's Way

Marahaeko Bay

Crossing the Winter Downs II

Alderman Sunset

Towards a New Life

Emerald Chain

Over the Forest II

Autumn Crossing I

Midsummer Fall

We Stand Behind the Sky II