'Trading Paint' is a racers' term which refers to the high speed grazes and impacts that result when light contact is made with another car. Heeps is keen to use this expression to reflect the painterly quality of these images. In these terms many of the photographs on display here initially evoke the paintings of the futurists whose own fascination was speed and mechanisation. Others have echoes of abstract expressionism and pop art. However, what at first glance appear as paintings to be leisurely reflected on have their meaning overturned as soon as one reads the title. When confronted with '#96 Chevy Monte Carlo' 'Wall IV' or 'Tyre Rub III' all associations are immediately drawn back to the moment of impact. The photographs were created at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, a banked 1.5 mile oval raceway that is the home of ASCAR racing in the UK. In Heeps' photographs, the pigments from the bodywork, tyres and wheels create their own shapes and edges expressions of the 170mph impacts and the experiences of the racing drivers at the UK's fastest circuit. There has been much debate since the invention of photography as to the truth of images contained in photographs. Is the image simply a 'copy' of what is before the camera lens, a direct reflection created as a result of the chemical change that occurs on the surface of the film as it is struck by light? Or does the very action of photography result in a highly mediated and significantly altered version of whatever is depicted? These pictures simultaneously lean towards both of these stances. We are left in no doubt that the camera has aestheticised these signs of impact but we are equally certain that very real impacts took place.
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.
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.
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.