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A talk with… Richard Hearns

By Mindo - 31st Mar 2020

In our new ArtSpeak section, we will hold a series of conversations with some of Ireland’s leading artists. We talk to artist and painter Richard Hearns about his practice and plans for 2020


Any upcoming talents that impress you?

In 2017 I had the opportunity to work with a young musician and budding artist, Colm Keady Tabbal. This placement helped in his application for a place in the fine art programme at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Colm has since gone on to impress his tutors and fellow students and he has been awarded a semester abroad in his final year. I’m thrilled to have been able to help him on his way and wish him every success in his endeavours. A huge talent and one to watch out for in the future. 

Richard Hearns with Phoenix, 2017, oil, 270x178cm. Collection of Naomi House Children’s
and Young Adults Hospice,

How has your practice changed over time?

My practice constantly evolves and revolves.  Starting out I created figurative drawings and paintings based on memories and dreams. I then made a big shift toward detailed observational painting. I worked in this vein for quite some time, honing my skills for many years before eventually tackling large-scale informal abstract painting. Currently I am working toward bridging all of these practices – it is very exciting! Lots to look forward to.

Three Poets, Three Philosophers, oil on canvas, 2019, tryptych; each canvas 120x120cm

 How important are titles to your work?

Titles hold a great significance for my paintings. Sometimes they come to me as I am working on a piece and other times in retrospect. I am currently working on creating a series of paintings – this allows me to delve into and investigate a theme quite thoroughly. The titles have a direct relationship to the chosen theme. For example, a recent series titled ‘Three Poets, Three Philosophers’ takes its inspiration from the landscapes that inspired the chosen poets. Each painting is named after the particular poets associated landscape.

Windows, 2019, oil on canavs, diptych, 270x178cm

 What are you working on now?

I am developing two abstract series of works: One is titled ‘Beannacht’ and features four large-scale canvases which explore the ideas presented in John O’Donohue’s poem of the same name. These pieces will be featuring in a show at my representative gallery in London later this year. The second series features smaller paintings on panel. These works take their inspiration from ‘Terra’ (the Earth).


 Where do you find your ideas?

I find inspiration everywhere and all that I need to do is sit and wait for ideas to reveal themselves. This is when the real challenge begins – deciding which ideas deserve to be acted upon.


What motivates you?

The chance to create something beautiful and enduring. It is this that keeps me eternally excited, motivated and painting.

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