Approved: 23.10.2013

Thomas Keyes

Artist, Writer

Archived
Approved: 23.10.2013

My work aims to question how distant we really are from the wild in contemporary society and to explore the meaning of rekindling the relationship. By reinterpreting ancient skills and archaic rituals I want to find them a place at the forefront of contemporary art both to challenge current assumptions on progress and to contribute to new creative directions. I forage for wild food and all of my artistic

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    Artist Statement

    My work aims to question how distant we really are from the wild in contemporary society and to explore the meaning of rekindling the relationship. By reinterpreting ancient skills and archaic rituals I want to find them a place at the forefront of contemporary art both to challenge current assumptions on progress and to contribute to new creative directions. I forage for wild food and all of my artistic materials. The experiences I gain from these activities both form and lead the focus of my work. I make parchment from road kill deer and have developed a technique to create images of the deer in birch woods from birch smoke on their own skins. On a recent residency I chose to depend entirely on birch trees to make containers, cutlery, torches, fire and a tap from a living birch tree to extract its own sap. I collaborated in an interactive artwork in which we took participants on a journey into a wild place using the smells from wild herbs growing en route, kindling fire from birch and the taste of wild food and drink to viscerally connect people to the wildness around them.

    CV & Education

                                                          Artists CV

    Graffiti  writer, Belfast , 1998- 2009.

    • Exhibited at The Factory, Belfast, 2001,2002,2003.
    • Exhibited at Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast. 2001,2002,2003,2004,2005
    • Exhibited at Windmill Lane, Dublin, 2002.
    • Exhibited at Bridge of Peace, Drogeda 2002,2003, 2004.
    • Exhibited at Apache, Belfast, 2002,2003.
    • Aerosol art instructor at Artfrique youth club.
    • Featured in ‘When Art is a crime’ documentary for UTV, 2005
    • Featured in ‘Peace, Love, Unity and Havin’ Fun’ , film on Irish hip-hop. 2006.
    • Various commissioned artworks.

    Education

    • GCSE art A*2000/01
    • A level art B, 2003/04
    • BTEC Diploma in Art and Design, Castle Park Road, Bangor, Co. Down, BT20 4TD, Tel 029 91276600, Grade: Merit, 2004/05
    • .Degree BA 2.1 Fine Art and History of Art, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne 2009

     Year 2005/06

    • Foundation year

     Year 2006/07

    •  Studio Practice I  65 pass (painting, printmaking, sculpture)
    • Art Since 1945 Post-war to present  66 pass
    • Studio Practice II 60 pass (painting, printmaking, sculpture)
    • Art since 1945 Post-modern to the present 72 pass
    • Academic Prize 2006/07 John Christie Prize for excellent overall performance

     Year 2007/08

    • Studio Practice A 60 pass (painting, printmaking)
    • Art in the Public Context 68 pass
    • Studio Practice II 60 pass (painting, printmaking)
    • Art History Dissertation 69 pass ( An Evolutionary Psychological and Memetic Analysis of the Emergence of the Graffiti Subculture in Modern Industrial Society )
    • Exhibited Long Gallery Newcastle.
    • Exhibited at Percy Building , Newcastle.

     Year 2008/09

    •  Art History Project II  85 pass (article- critique of postmodernism, call for alternative)
    • Intensive career Development for final year students 58 pass (placement with community group)
    • Art History Project III 69 pass (article- cultural factors affecting definition of art in the west)
    • Studio Practice II 52 pass (installation using objects, wild plants and fermentation)
    • Exhibited and lead spray painting workshop at Eye of the Fly youth project, Pelaw, Gateshead.
    • Exhibited, Long Gallery, Newcastle.
    • Degree show exhibition, Newcastle University school Of Art, Newcastle.

    2010

    • Environmental history course.
    • Article for Mid Wales Permaculture Network (The Potential Role of Fine Art in the Transition Movement)

     2011

    •  Article for the second Dark Mountain Anthology, a recipe entirely foraged and grown from the Black Isle with descriptions and histories of the landscapes, plants, animals and processes involved.
    • Artist at Cromarty stables studios November- March.
    • Winter Exhibition at Cromarty Stables Studios.
    • Self-taught parchmenter from road kill deer.

    2012

    • Article and artwork for the third Dark Mountain Anthology, an essay on the processes and experience of acquiring and using roe deer as food and art.
    • Artist at Cromarty Stables Studios, November –March.
    • Convenor of Transition Black Isle Art and Foraging group.
    • Exhibited work at Cromarty Arts Trust exhibition.

    2013

    • Artist at Cromarty Stables Studios.
    • Moray Art Centre summer exhibition ‘Natural Selection’ .
    • Produced online tutorials for foraged art and food processes for Transition Black Isle including parchment from roe deer, birch tar, charcoal and syrup, oak gall and cherry gum ink.
    • Resident artist, The Wild Project, August 2013, Zdonov, Czech republic. Created work out of birch bark, organised and lead interactive performance journey into the landscape with wild plants, crafts, foraging and fire.
    • Exhibited at MeetinZdonov and on location in the birch woods.
    • Looking forward to collaborating on the Foraged Book Project with artist James Woods and forager Fergus Drennan and publishing an essay on relationships with the land in Dark Mountain issue 5.

    Upcoming exhibitions

    • Cromarty Arts Trust, Cromarty, December 2013.
    • Xero, Kline and Coma, London, January 2014.
    • Motorcade/Flashparade, Bristol, march 2014.
    • Primary, Nottingham, April 2014.
    • Groam House Museum, summer 2014.