The Art of Architecture - Richard Heeps

How to choose art for your home

March 20, 2021

A guest blogpost from interior stylist, Lisa Cleary @alondonrenovation

Apparently, there are 7000 decisions to be made in the average house renovation - it is no surprise that we get decision fatigue! But of the many decisions we have to make when renovating our homes, choosing art should be one of the most pleasurable (and surely beats picking toilet flush plates). I am often asked by clients how they should choose art for their homes; there isn’t a secret formula but here are a few pointers which I hope will help.

Buy art that you respond to:
You bring your story to the art in your home. It is in this interaction that art can become an exciting part of interior design, in a way that doesn't necessarily happen with a cushion or a lamp - at least, not with the same immediacy. Art can be transporting, inspiring, joyous, melancholy, nostalgic. The most important thing is to buy art that makes you feel something. Choose art that makes you pause for thought - does it conjure a particular memory? remind you of a person? open a window to another place? or contain it’s own narrative? There is no right or wrong here and the reasons for connecting with a piece of art are as varied as we are as people; it could simply make you smile! Have confidence in your collection – this is your gallery and you do not need to answer to any curator except yourself.

Create tension:
I would caution against buying art to match a room's décor. Often the most exciting spaces are those where there is an unexpected tension between the rest of the room and the artwork. An exciting friction can be brought about by contrasting the colour palette of the room and that of the art. Other points of divergence can include the texture of a frame or the materials used, for example a three-dimensional piece made from natural materials shown in an industrial space.
Alternatively, you could use artwork to introduce a surprising or fun subject matter. You can also play around with context, giving a nod to a room's function, for example. In a previous property, we had a series of photos depicting Palm Springs' swimming pools in our dark toned, subterranean bathroom. These introduced contrast but also levity (and sunshine) to the space!

Cost is no indication of value:
Be it a postcard from a gallery, a small ceramic picked up at a carboot sale or an antique oil painting, the value of art in a home should be measured by how much it resonates with the person who chose to hang it on their wall. I can offer no insight into how to buy art as an investment but in terms of the value to your interior decoration, artwork can be priceless, breathing life into a room and transforming the space. Pick up pieces on your travels, rummage through flea markets, see what your gran has in the attic – a fresh mount and frame can bring tired-looking pieces right up-to-date.

Mixed bag:
A large format piece of art can offer an impressive centre-point but may not be bank balance friendly. In addition to budgetary considerations, large pieces often need to sit alone, and this doesn’t align with our magpie tendencies! Luckily, smaller pieces of varying sizes can be grouped into interesting little galleries – trios (and other uneven numbers) seem to work well. These groups can be tied together with simple connections between the pieces (one shared colour or a similar atmosphere running through each) but which still allow them to stand on their own as individual artworks. Don’t be afraid to contrast artistic styles and mediums in neighbouring pieces- again, think of creating tension. A small work on its own will draw the eye to find out more, inviting people to visit overlooked corners of a room. If you have something very small, a framer can increase scale of the piece with the use of a generous mount and frame, further emphasising it’s diminutive size and tempting the viewer in.

Hang, lean, move:
Those who follow my account will know that I am constantly moving the furniture, rugs and artwork around – especially during lockdown when changing the scenery felt even more important! Large pieces which need to be hung are perhaps a little trickier to relocate (although the Swiss cheese holes in our walls are testament that I do try) so more often I will layer propped up pieces against the wall. This is a more casual way of using art to style a room and it allows you to try things out in a particular space without committing. Even the most well-established galleries have a re-hang every few years so don’t be afraid to shake it up every now and then.

So now to the fun part -  I have picked a small selection from Richard Heeps’ incredible portfolio of lens-based photography which I think would work in wide range of interiors. I love Richard's work because each piece looks like it is lifted from a storyboard. His work has a timeless, cinematic quality - you can almost see the supporting cast just outside the frame. I am lucky to have two pieces of Richard’s work at home (including Bible – Fisherman’s Mission, below). His work sets a tone of quiet sophistication around which you can arrange other pieces - I have combined his photographs with a variety of artistic styles, including painterly still life and bold slogan pieces. His photos have been toured around our house, offering something new to each space they have sat in. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Richard's work to enhance your interiors!

1. Door - Lariat Motel, Fallon, Nevada
2. Burning Potatoes, Honey Hill, Cambridgeshire
Burning Potatoes, Honey Hill, Cambridgeshire 1993
3. Bible, Fisherman's Mission, Fleetwood
Bible, Fisherman's Mission, Fleetwood
4. Poor Richard Head, Salton Sea, California

Poor Richard head- Richard Heeps

5. Yellow corridor day, Milan
Yellow corridor day, Milan - Richard Heeps

If you are interested in seeing how I have used Richard’s work at home, please visit @alondonrenovation and check out the ‘Art’ highlight.



1 Response

Matt Gleeson
Matt Gleeson

March 21, 2021

Great article. I often find sourcing art a complete minefield and often wonder where to start. Extremely useful guidance and advice. I also love Richard Heeps’ work – incredible!
Thanks again.
Take care, Matt

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Richard Heeps interview for The Affordable Online Art Fair Instagram Takeover
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Discover affordable artwork photography from Richard Heeps
Discover affordable artwork photography from Richard Heeps

January 22, 2021

With a photography career that spans five decades, Richards’ archive is expansive. I had quite literally hours of fun, excitedly flicking through every single photograph. My journey took me from the bustling streets of Hong Kong, to a sun lounger in Palm Springs and the neon-lit shop windows of New York, via my favourite place in the world, London! 

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Size Guide & Artwork Description

Sizes may vary slightly from image to image as we make each composition from the negative individually, either showing Richard's signature ragged edge (white border) as he prints full frame or showing the film rebate (black border) often showing the film make. Where the image size varies we adjust the window mount in order to maintain a frame size so like for like sizes can hang together.

 

Format Stated Photographic Size Image Size cm Image Size Inches Mounted Size mm Mounted Size Inches Framed Size cm Framed Size Inches Price Unframed

Price Framed+AR70

Rectangle 6x9 or 35mm

9.5''x12'' 17.5x27cm 7''x10.25'' 380x380 15''x15'' 41x41x3.5cm 16''x16''x1.5'' £75 £125 + £20 

Rectangle 6x7

9.5''x12'' 21.5x26cm 8.5''x10.25'' 380x380 15''x15'' 41x41x3.5cm 16''x16''x1.5'' £75 £125 + £20

Square

9.5''x9.5'' 21.5x21.5cm 8.5''x8.5'' 380x380 15''x15'' 41x41x3.5cm 16''x16''x1.5'' £75 £125 + £20
no text

Rectangle 6x9 or 35mm

11''x16.5'' 28x44.5cm 11''x16.5'' 380x518 15''x20.5'' 41x54x3.5cm 16''x21.5''x1.5'' £100 £150 + £30
Rectangle 6x7 11''x13.5'' 28x34cm 11''x13.5'' 380x445 15''x17.75'' 41x47x3.5cm 16''x18.5''x1.5'' £100 £150 + £30
Square 11''x11'' 28x28cm 11''x11'' 380x380 15''x15'' 41x41x3.5cm 16''x16''x1.5'' £100 £150 + £30
Tape 11''x17.5'' 28x45cm 11''x17.5'' 380x550 15''x21.75'' 41x57x3.5cm 16''x22.5''x1.5'' £100 £150 + £30
no text
Rectangle 6x9 or 35mm 16''x20'' 34x51cm 13.5''x20'' 525x660 20.5''x26'' 55x70cm
Bx3.5cm
Wx5cm
21.5''x27.5''
B x1.5''
Wx3''
£180 £260 + £50
Rectangle 6x7 16''x20'' 42x51cm 16.5''x20'' 584x660 23''x26'' 60x70cm
Bx3.5cm
Wx5cm
24''x27.5''
Bx1.5''
Wx3''
£180 £260 + £50
Square RH 16''x20'' 45x45cm 18''x18'' 584x584 23''x23'' 60x60cm
Bx3.5cm
Wx5cm
24''x24''
Bx1.5''
Wx3''
£180 £260 + £50
Square HH + Space 20''x20'' 48x48cm 19''x19'' 584x584 23''x23'' 60x60cm
Bx3.5cm
Wx5cm
24''x24''
Bx1.5''
Wx3''
£270 £350 + £50
no text
Tape 43x59cm 17''x25'' 525x750 20.5''x29.5'' 55x77cm
Bx3.5cm
Wx5cm
22''x30.5''
Bx1.5''
Wx3''
£200 £295 + £70
no text
Rectangle
6x9 or 35mm
20''x24'' 39x58cm 15.5''x23'' 575x735 22.75''x29'' 60x77x5cm 23.5''x30.5''x5'' £300 £395 + £70
Rectangle
6x7
20''x24'' 48x60cm 19''x23.75'' 635x735 25''x29'' 67x77x5cm 26.5''x30.5''x5'' £300 £395 + £70
Square 24''x24'' 61x61cm 24''x24'' 735x735 29''x29'' 77x77x5cm 30.5''x30.5''x5'' £400 £495 + £70
Vinyl 27''x27'' 73x73cm 25''x25'' 735x735 29''x29'' 77x77x5cm 30.5''x30.5''x5'' £400 £495 + £70
no text
Rectangle
6x9 or 35mm
30''x40'' 61x93cm 24''x36.5'' 818x1090 32''x42'' 85x112x5cm 33.5''x44'x5'' £445 £595 + £105
Rectangle 6x7 30''x40'' 61x75cm 24''x30'' 818x970 32''x38'' 85x100x5cm 33.5''x39''x5'' £445 £595 + £105
Tape 30''x40'' 60x94cm 23''x37'' 777x1090 30.5''x42'' 80x112x5cm 31.5''x44''x5'' £445 £595 + £105
notext
Rectangle 6x9 or 35mm 40''x50'' 76x109cm 30''x43'' 940x1280 37''x50'' 98x130x5cm 39''x51''x5'' £895 £1095 + £200
Rectangle 6x7 40'' x 50'' 76x94cm 30''x37'' 940x1120 37''x44'' 98x115x5cm 39''x45.5''x5'' £895 £1095 + £200
Square 40''x40'' 76x76cm 30''x30'' 940x940 37''x37 98x98x5cm 39''x39''x5'' £895 £1095 + £200

 

Artwork Description 

Richard makes the c-type prints from negative in his own analogue colour darkroom in Cambridge. His paper of choice is Kodak Professional Endura Premier Gloss. When Richard has chosen to evolve the artwork, we work with Streamline Colour Lab. In our studio the print is dry-mounted to dibond which ensures a very flat image surface in both the short and long term. The prints are matted (window mounted) using a museum quality 100% cotton rag board especially manufactured to be compatible with the C-type archival Kodak photographic paper Richard uses. Richard does all mounting himself, using his precision engineering background to create the finished artwork. Eleanor fits the artworks to the frames. Traditionally photographic prints are signed and numbered on the back, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. They can be signed on the front of the mount by request. If you would like us to make a larger artwork that is possible, the sizes listed are the largest we can make in our darkroom but we can go larger with our printing partners so please get in touch to discuss it.

Framing Description  

Our frames are hand-made in the UK by Menor Photographic Fine Art Printing & Framing Specialists in Hertfordshire. We offer a choice of black or white wooden box frames which have depth to suit the size of the picture, the artwork set back from the glass. Our black frames are made from matt ebony stained obeche, in which you can see the detail of the wood grain whereas our white frames are made from beech and the wood grain is not visible. The wood is sustainably forested for both variations of frame. Artglass AR 70™ is a premium anti-reflective glass used by the finest museums around the world. If you would like to present you artwork in another way, we offer the choice to buy an unframed print only and can advise you on other options or recommend reputable companies to carry out the work.