Richard Heley is a multi-talented visual artist, writer, performer, and songwriter. Born on May 29, 1950, in Totternhoe, Bedfordshire, England, he emigrated to Australia with his family in 1965. He attended Melbourne College of Education from 1969 to 1973.
Richard's artistic pursuits span various mediums and disciplines. As a visual artist, he is known for his painting, live performance painting, and interactive art with children. He is also an accomplished writer and performer of poetry, short stories, and children's stories. His talents as an international performance poet and songwriter have taken him on numerous tours and engagements.
In 1997, Richard became the Farrago UK Poetry Slam Champion, and he represented the UK as a member of the London team in the first World Championship Poetry Slam. He has toured the United States five times, sharing his poetic performances. Richard has also made significant contributions to the arts community, having founded the Paddington International Poetry Festival and curated and administered Jasmine Cottage Gallery in Derby and Maida Hill Place Gallery in London.
Beyond his artistic endeavors, Richard has played a pivotal role in the housing sector. He is a founder and former board member, secretary, and vice chair of Walterton and Elgin Community Homes, a tenant-led housing association in London.
Art critic Nicholas Usherwood describes Richard Heley as an artist who defies conventions and embraces a diverse range of creative expressions. Richard's time in Australia and his experiences with passionate teachers left a lasting impression on his artistic journey. His paintings, influenced by his travels, collaborations, interactions with children, and poetic pursuits, exude rich imagery, bold brushwork, and vibrant colors. Richard's work invites viewers to enter his imaginative world with freedom and exhilaration, combining influences from Gauguin, Chagall, and Sidney Nolan while eschewing English restraint and reticence.
Richard Heley's creative career has been marked by a nonconformist spirit and a relentless pursuit of artistic exploration across various mediums, making him a unique and celebrated figure in the art world.