Welcome, and first, let me apologise for the delay in getting this website on to your screen. I don’t like to make excuses, but for most of the first 10 billion years the universe reliably informs me that it was busy being ‘in the beginning’. There then followed: 4 billion years of evolution, 200,000 years of humanisation, 10,000 years of civilisation, 150 years of industrialisation, 50 years of computerisation, 40 years of education and way too much procrastination. With that finally out of the way, I have an outlet for my nonsense.
With a love of confined dark spaces and a penchant for nasty chemicals, I spent many happy years locked in my darkroom specialising in fine art black and white printing. During the nineties, the inevitable happened and a lifetime of darkroom solitude was soon forgotten as I discovered the brightly lit world of digital imaging. I have rarely entered a darkroom since.
I was born in one of the great northern cities of the world, a place where the landscape is littered with symbols of its proud engineering heritage and the people have strange accents. The place to which I refer is Bristol.
It may not be Northern in the true sense of the word, but to the people among whom I currently reside it may as well be the frozen tundra of the arctic.
I now live in the South West of England, and while the general population may not exactly be Hobbits, it is a fact that many of them have been no further than the edge of the shire.
When not photographing, abroad or in the studio, I can usually be found writing nonsense.
You might say he is somewhere between a right clever Dick and a bloody good chap.
For many years, his philanthropy has contributed towards numerous health, educational and social projects, and since the late 2000s he has been a shareholder in several leading British banks.
He is currently grappling with the concept of writing in the third person.
BeginningsThese days, coming from Bristol is an attribute almost as priceless as membership of Footlights, albeit with considerably less expense and a slightly different accent. Being born in Bristol, within a few days and a couple of miles of Lee Evans, I could do little but follow my destiny and see the funny side of life. Had I attended Cambridge I would have undoubtedly joined the network of comedy writers and performers of Footlights but, sadly, my exam results eluded me and it was not to be. Even my time in Oxford yielded little in the way of networking opportunities because it was just a day trip. As lives go, mine has been extraordinary. That is to say, not merely ordinary, but extra ordinary. I could tell of my time producing printed circuit boards for the slot machine industry, but it was boring enough doing it without having to recount it to others. I could describe my years as a marketing photographer, a career that has kept a roof over my head for all of the current millennium, but that, too, contains little of interest except to the insomniac fraternity. Although I had always dabbled with words and lyrics, once I discovered the enjoyment of writing fiction my world took a new direction and I could now easily fill volumes with glorious anecdotes.
Later yearsFew people know of my time in the SAS, but that was pretty much the point.
When I decided to leave the services I declined approaches from MI5 and spent time as head chef of a three starred restaurant. It was during a particularly spectacular tasting menu that I was approached by a well known theatre director and offered a part in his latest West End musical. Between performances I built a large multinational organisation before opting to sell the business at the peak of the dot com bubble.
After a three year sabbatical exploring the African continent by bicycle I was persuaded by a retired Nigerian General to join his charity and fly medical rescue missions in one of my personal jets. Unfortunately, allegations of involvement in a small military coup and a nasty cyber attack on my bank accounts forced me to move back to Britain with some urgency.
Having now experienced extravagant luxury and extreme hardship in equal measure, I am expecting to rejoin the upper echelons of society in an unrealistically short period of time. But that’s fiction for you.
RICHARD HEDDINGTON is a truly unique artist.
With two middle names, a distinctive style and several UK Parula warblers on his British birding list there can surely be no other image maker like him.