I work in a light-filled studio in Sussex, an acorn’s throw from the Ashdown Forest. I strive to bring presence into painting, to open up a soul space allowing the viewer to breath with the artwork. For me, a painting must have countenance – a spiritual presence – so that the artwork reveals itself and continues to live on in the mind of the viewer. Aiming for mystery in this world of the known, I create standing before the unknown.
What set me on this journey was discovering one of Ian McKeever’s Temple Paintings at the Royal Academy in 2007. I couldn’t understand how the piece appeared to come off the wall to greet me. I have, since that moment, wrestled with the issue of how to create a painting with presence. These days I have a deeper appreciation of how pure colour can project and recede from the picture plane and this is informed by the ‘frontality’ of the icon tradition, brought into the abstract Sublime by Mark Rothko.
In 2013 I was excited to visit the Gerhard Richter Retrospective at the Tate Modern and was surprised to discover the experience made me feel ill. Seeing wall after wall of grey or smeared and scraped colours left me without breath. At that very moment I decided to go home, get out some print making equipment and make some paintings that glowed with transparent breathing colour. This exploration is ongoing.
In my practice I work with print-making tools, silicone tools, brushes and bespoke squeegees. I love with a passion the ethereal nature of colour and the physical qualities of paint. I work to remould inner spaces, to invite attention to and engagement with surface and depth, outer picture and inner soul-space. I aim to create, to borrow a phrase, “the painting as a doorway”.
WEBSITE : https://richardianheys.co.uk/