Wednesday 21 March 2018

Christy Keeney

Christy Keeney at the Bevere Gallery, Worcester.

One of my favourite ceramicists. Such pleasure being able to see so much of his work in one go.

Christy Keeney started his career at art school in Donegal. Although drawn more towards fine art, he was encouraged to continue working in clay. Whilst developing his throwing skills, he became more interested in sculpture.

Keeney studied ceramics at The Royal College of Art and graduated in 1988 and then started working from studios in London. His work developed from portrait sculpture to a freer, more two-dimensional form of modelling, inspired by human faces and expressions. He was commissioned by the sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi to work on a portrait of Richard Rodgers, for an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 1988.

In the early 1980s when he was at college, Keeney visited a retrospective Picasso exhibition at the Tate Gallery and many of his influences came from seeing that work. He sees his work as three dimensional painting. The form is built up and flattened like a canvas ready to take the drawing. When he works he tries to let the moment dictate his progress, and the themes that he is dealing with are not as important to him as the overall form they inhabit. His figurative ceramics are an investigation into the human condition and his forms are stretched to the point where sculpture and drawing overlap. His sculpted slab built heads and figures demonstrate a wonderful sense of draughtsmanship as details are drawn into the wet clay surface.

After spending 17 years in London Keeney returned to his native Donegal, where he now lives and works. 

Flat Head

Flat Head

 Tall Head


Horse and Rider

Tall Head 

Blue Guitar Flying Lady

looking closer

Seated Guitar Player 

Bass Player

a selection of brooches

Heads on sticks

Heads on sticks

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