Keith Barrell NDD. ATC.(LON.)  - Classical roots with a modern touch

Keith Barrell I was born in 1939, and was trained at Rochdale School of Art, before moving on to Hammersmith College of Art to follow my N.D.D., specialising in Sculpture. I then moved on to Hornsey College of Art for my PGCE qualification.

My working career has been spent entirely within the broad field of Art Education at all levels.

  • As Head of the Art Department in a London Comprehensive (11-18);
  • As Lecturer in a London Polytechnic, where I established a Degree Course in Ceramics for Secondary Art Teachers;
  • As General and Specialist Inspector with responsibility for Art and Design across all levels of learning establishments, for the Kent Education Authority.

I took advantage of early retirement in 1989 in order to work as an independent Adviser and Art Consultant and I became an External Moderator and eventually Chief Examiner before finally retiring in 2004 to re-establish my own creative practice on a full-time basis, which is ongoing.

Throughout my to any career, I have remained an ‘Art practitioner‘ by contributing to 'Open' or ‘Group exhibitions' and of course by having ‘One-man‘ shows.

I have always been actively involved with groups of professional artists, by Membership or Association, such as the ‘London Group', who frequently exhibited in London galleries between 1960 & 1980 such as the SE Art Gallery in Camberwell, the ‘TUC' Congress House Building in London and in other small Private galleries.

Since retirement, I have shown more of my work in Art Galleries and I have been involved with the SE ‘Open Studios' which runs a comprehensive exhibition programme by encouraging artists to open their homes/studios each summer, which I have done for the past 4 years.

My past work consisted mainly of figurative Sculptures, Ceramics, Etchings, Watercolours; however my focus has shifted totally by concentrating on producing Paintings on canvas, working with Gesso, Acrylics and mixed media.

My long-term association with ‘3-D work' and tactile ‘media' has inspired me towards natural artefacts, or organic material that are readily ‘found' within our own environment. This has inspired me to become involved with the complexity of surface and forms that are directly linked with nature and landscape. My empathy with my newly developed work as a consequence of my direct response to new stimuli has regenerated my personal aesthetic growth over the past 4 years.

I believe that I am ‘emerging' through new processes, that are stimulating my responses in following exciting and unpredictable directions. More often than not, my work begin as an experiment and without any preconceived outcome, by constructing layered surfaces which are often built over a number of days.

I often use hand-made paper together with gesso, fibres and ‘found' natural material discovered within the landscape, over which I apply washes of acrylics to create a more complex, to produce a tactile surface.

I am happy to discuss individual commissions and to design or construct work for specific sites.

Your comments are welcome on any aspect of my work. I would be pleased if you could send your views on my work via email by clicking on the Contact Us button or by Clicking Here.

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