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Welcome to the imagination of

Richard Heley

Fine art painter, poet, storywriter, songwriter

Richard Heley

Born 29th May 1950 in Totternhoe, Bedfordshire, England.
1965 Emigrated to Australia with family.
1969-73 Attended Melbourne College of Education.


Visual artist (painter, live performance painter, interactive painting with children), writer/performer (poetry, short stories and children's stories)
International performance poet. Songwriter.

What else?

1997 Farrago UK Poetry Slam Champion.
Richard represented UK as a member of the London team in the first World Championship Poetry Slam against Asheville the then reigning USA champions and has done 5 poetry tours of USA.
He founded Paddington International Poetry Festival and has curated and administered Jasmine Cottage Gallery, Derby and Maida Hill Place Gallery, London.
He is a founder and former board member, secretary and vice chair of Walterton and Elgin Community Homes a pioneering tenant led housing association in London.

Art Critic, Nicholas Usherwood writes:
“Performance painting, poetry slam champion, interactive art with young children, song writing - such activities are not the normal profile of a committed and intensely serious-minded and hugely prolific artist, but then Richard Heley's whole creative career has not followed any remotely conventional pattern. Born in Bedfordshire, England, Richard emigrated to Australia aged 15, with his whole family. It was a liberating decade spent there during which he quickly and, for the first time, became aware of the strength of his creative instincts. In the strongly egalitarian society that Australia then was, Richard Heley found himself among some remarkably gifted and passionate teachers, most particularly Reg Parker in the sculpture class. Though this was not to prove his particular artistic direction, one senses, from the way he talks about this period of his life, that it was the attitude of this particular teacher, which has stayed with him ever since. A nostalgia for home and the fate of his village football team (of which he and an 80 year old man had been virtually the sole supporters!) drew him back to England where he has been painting and performing furiously ever since. As might be expected from all of this, the painting that has emerged, particularly over the last ten years or so as he has slowly started to focus on his own rather than his more collaborative artistic activities, reflects this extreme unconventionality. Frequent return visits to Australia, travels through the islands of Indonesia alongside the liberating impact of working closely with children and writing and performing poetry, has resulted in work teeming with rich and exuberant imagery, bold, painterly touches and brilliant colour - Gauguin meets Chagall meets Sidney Nolan - with English restraint and reticence nowhere to be seen, thank goodness! Richard Heley, the painter talks a lot about the need he feels to be able to "let go" in the making of such work, and it is his success in doing just that, which enables us, as spectators, to enter his imaginative world with such freedom and exhilaration.”

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