I was always going to be an assertive, slightly mischievous child. Never one to stay on the straight and narrow and rarely choosing the easy path. My mother was right when she said: ‘somewhere I must have gone wrong raising you’.
Ever since, I’ve only been too happy to fulfil on that sentiment. I’ve always had an insatiable curiosity for oddities and irregularities, and I get excited at the prospect of finding and discovering new things. I am driven by wanting to always better myself and understand more about the world.
I was born in Australia, but knew fairly quickly that I wasn’t going to stay in one place for very long. I took flight to explore the world in my early twenties, and found myself immersed in a successful career in design; working for many of the world’s leading advertising and branding agencies.
Never risk-adverse, it wasn’t long before I knew I had to explore a new dimension of my creativity, and so, Heath Kane the artist was created.
My debut collection Rich Enough to be Batman was a coming together of my commercial art background and my love of urban art. My approach has always been driven by the practice of design thinking. Focusing on creating simple, iconic pieces that evoke an emotional response. I aim for my collections to be a talking point. Not simply for their artistic value, but for the messaging and larger narrative they represent. Within the lurid colour of my art, I embed subtle often subversive themes that encourage a political or social conversation.
I have never created art to please people. Not even my mother. But, instead, I make art in response to what I see happening in the world. I want to challenge the conventions of our lifestyles and the world we live in today.
“The important thing for me is not just what it looks like and feels like, it is what it makes you think”.
I grew up on the northern beaches of Sydney. Looking back, I realise what an optimistic time it was. I was steeped in the surf and skate culture of the late 1970s and '80s. It gave me a real sense of hope and belonging - and I realise now it defined a lot of my world view.
I decided to make graphic design my career, after a failed attempt to become an animator. It was a decision that took me to Denmark, the USA, and finally the UK. I arrived in London in the late '90s just as the economy and property market was starting to boom. It was an exciting time. I lived there for over ten years. What I loved about London was how cosmopolitan it was – the most diverse place I have ever lived.
In 2014, my family and I moved out of London to live in a small country town. We set up home and I created a studio. This is where my first piece – Rich Enough To Be Batman – was conceived and made. And where all my subsequent pieces have been made.
My approach to art is responsive. I respond to what I see and feel. Rich Enough To Be Batman was a response to the disparities of wealth I was seeing. It also was based on a core belief of mine – that good art should also create a smile in people’s minds. It seemed to strike a chord and was and continues to be very successful.
The success of Rich Enough To Be Batman led me to many other creations which have been accepted in many different ways, which appearances of my work on the cover of Wired Magazine to creating the title art of the last published editions of George Orwell Books.
Since then I have continued to make art in response to what I see happening in the world – often things that scare and trouble me – as well as what inspires me.