Richard Heeps interview for The Affordable Online Art Fair Instagram Takeover

Richard Heeps interview for The Affordable Online Art Fair Instagram Takeover

May 01, 2021

Rebecca Stanton of The Affordable Art Fair Interviewed Richard Heeps for his Instagram Takeover (March 2021).

Q) Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be a practicing artist?

A) I was always drawn to the arts, I enjoyed painting, drawing and music. This concluded with me studying photography for five years, whilst doing that I had success with a series of exhibitions which included a solo exhibition at The Photographers Gallery London, which gave me confidence I was on the right path. Throughout my early career I had exhibitions in museums and public galleries but there was a resistance from commercial galleries to photography, with the exception of Doric Arts and the Stark Gallery (thank you Russel and Andrew Stark). In the year 2000 I felt there was turning point, I received an Arts Council 'Year of the Artist Grant', I created the series '36 Minutes in Cambridgeshire', a journey along the Millennium Line. The series was exhibited at the Babylon Gallery in Ely, there were a lot of print sales at that show and it made me realise it might be possible to make a living selling my art. I could see the tide was turning and there was a market for photography but it was not yet being exploited and I must dedicate my full time work to being an artist. The Affordable Art Fair seemed to be the best arena to meet my audience and connect with galleries. When I took part in my first Autumn Affordable Art Fair Battersea, Bleach Box were the only dedicated photography gallery at the event and from that success we followed the Affordable Art Fairs around the world, taking part in Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Stockholm, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York and LA.

Bleach Box Gallery at the Affordable Art Fair Stockholm
Bleach Box at Affordable Art Fair Stockholm 2018.  

 

Q) What messages do you explore within your artwork and are you drawn to a particular subject matter, style or medium. 

A) My key themes are a sense of place, a journey, leapfrogging time where the future and past are blurred. The pictures are not individual, they are a set all telling a story. Colour is very important in the work and it is probably my signature, I use it to seduce the audience, to draw them in. I cross over between classical, conceptual and pop art but the use of colour ties them all to me. Whilst my subject matter varies, there is always a link from one picture to another. I was drawn to photography as I used to paint and draw from photographs and in studying them in that way I became passionate about the medium and their place in capturing a moment in time, preserving the past. While I may not be typically be a documentary photographer, every photograph is essentially a documentary.

Richard Heeps photograph 'Anita', the back of a woman's head wearing a Marks and Spencer polka dot head scarf.
'Anita', from Richard Heeps Autobiographical series A View of the Fens from the Car with Wings.

 

Q) Tell us a little more about the process you use to create your work.

A) I am a film based photographer, I use vintage analogue cameras. I have my own colour darkroom where I make my prints. I consider myself to have three studios, the external studio wherever I may be shooting, the darkroom where I make my prints and my home studio where I do the post production where they are mounted and framed. I have always wanted the work to be accessible and affordable without compromising quality and doing it all in house I am in control of each step to achieve that. There is a long process between taking a picture and bringing it to market.

Richard Heeps photographing a tram in Milan with his Mamiya RB67.
Richard Heeps photographing in Milan with his Mamiya RB67.

 

Q) Describe your daily routine for us. How do you balance artwork with life admin, and has this routine changed in the past year?

A) The first half of my day is taken up by the most physically demanding work and the priority work, whether that is taking the pictures or producing the finished artworks. We work to our couriers pick up deadlines to fulfil the online art purchases. There is a turning point in the day where I do work on the editing of the images, where the ideas develop. The iPhone very much changed my process, it is such a valuable tool for sketching and planning and I love engaging with my audience on instagram. The main change for me has been the endless time at my home studio when normally the months would be broken by art fairs or going abroad to shoot. To be honest, I don't have balance, being an artist for me is a full time lifestyle not a 9-5 job.

Richard Heeps in his home studio with a picture of New York.
Richard Heeps in his home studio with a just framed up artwork.

 

Q) Do you have any exciting projects coming up in 2021 that you can tell us about now?

A) All projects are ongoing, there is not a sense of one finishing and another one starting, it's a constant evolution. There's a couple of series off-shoots I am working on. One, 'The East Coast', looking at my images of the East Coast of America and pairing them with images of the East Coast of England. Secondly I am working on a series with a working title of 'On the Road', where I am looking at my American road trips looking back at journeys with fresh eyes, with a different approach twenty years later. In this series the road is the central theme, the image within the film has a cinematic quality to it. I think this has been inspired by being restricted to my home, by not being able to travel. I am also working on a new book which is a big project as I am editing from thirty years of work.

Model T and Garage from Richard Heeps series On the Road.
'Model T & Garage', from the series 'On the Road'.

 

Q) Do you have a network of fellow creatives, and how are they supporting each other during these unprecedented times?

A) I work with a number of creatives in Cambridge who have supported my production in a number of ways, they have kept things moving this year. Instagram has kept me engaged with other creatives around the world and has produced a number of collaborations.

'The Kelly Green Ballroom' book cover featuring Richard Heeps photograph 'Yellow Corridor'.
Pictured a book cover for A. C Calloway who connected with me on Instagram from the US.

 

Q) Do you have any socially distanced exhibition exhibition recommendations for those craving a bit of culture? What art show is first on your list when lockdown is lifted where you're based?

A) After a year break Cambridge Open Studios is bound to be buzzing this summer. I will be taking part and look forward to visiting my fellow participants. It will be a great event for staycations to do something different when visiting Cambridge (every weekend in July). I am very lucky that just down the road from my studio is University of Cambridge's modern and contemporary art gallery Kettle's Yard, and the new Hockney Gallery, further into town are The Heong Gallery at Darwin College and The Fitzwilliam Museum and Cambridge is a living museum in itself. 

Visit my studio at 2 Springfield Road, Cambridge, CB4 1AD every weekend in July or any time by appointment.
Thank you Affordable Art Fair for the thought provoking questions and for featuring me on your Instagram Takeover.


Leave a comment


Also in Instagram Stories

The Art of Architecture - Richard Heeps
How to choose art for your home

March 20, 2021 1 Comment

Guest blog from interior design account @alondonrenovation on how to choose art for your home. 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. Richard Heeps incredible lens based photography certainly does that. 

Read More

Drive up to an American Motel in California with blue sky and palm trees.
Contact sheets from California and Nevada

February 27, 2021

Looking at my contact sheets discovering the patterns that emerge.

Read More

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! 

Read More

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.