Richard Davey's research focuses on the way in which faith, as a distinctive and counter-cultural worldview, is embodied and materialised within works of art. This has led to an interest in themes such as wonder, mystery, liminality, the sublime, beauty, colour, and sacred spaces and landscapes, and their rediscovery as vehicle of spiritual encounter, and valid academic discussion. As a writer Richard seeks to use the 'art text' as a space of research and proposition, in which ideas and knowledge are primarily shaped and gained by direct engagement with the visual image rather than secondary, or historical knowledge.
This reflects his interest in the validity of a sensory and intuitive epistemology. He is also concerned with the process and function of writing on art, in particular the way in which a practice of poetics rather than prose can provide a valid research tool, and also in the act of mutual engagement and response that can take place between text and image, and the new worlds of knowledge that can emerge from this encounter.