As the artist Keith How prepared to leave for his latest exhibition in Finland,we realised there was no time left to do a leisurely interview. Questions on a postcard seemed a good idea. I found a postcard in my random postcard drawer that included two aspects of the exhibition, ceramics and a red thread. Keith’s paintings are the missing link.
I posed the questions on a postcard but I didn’t expect Keith to limit his replies to one and I wasn’t disappointed.
Why Finland? What’s the connection?
My great friend and inspiration John Rogers lives there with his family. He is a potter of note.
Home or abroad? Where do you prefer to exhibit?
I love both.
How do you feel about some of your paintings finding their home in Finland?
It’s a joy to see one of your own paintings actually on a wall living its own life with people who wanted it!
How do you think your work has developed since your first Finnish exhibition?
In terms of development, like most artists of all persuasions you always seek to move on and explore your calling. I feel more confident in my own work but I am also my harshest critic! In terms of subject matter I still love abstract impressionism. At the moment the idea of jazz/zen calligraphy is foremost in my mind. I am seeing lines and shapes everywhere in a simpler form than previously.
What themes and inspirations are reflected in this year’s exhibition?
Michael Tucker’s book Dreaming With Open Eyes has been really inspirational. I love the concept of the shamanic spirit in art influencing culture in a positive manner. Inspiring and motivating the modern world and revealing ancient wisdom, challenging the bland mediocrity the media feeds us.
Back to Sheffield
Keith will be painting live in response to Jim Ghedi and Neal Hepplestone’s music performance at Tramlines 2013. This will be part of the Audacious Art Experiment at Harwood St on Saturday 20th at 7.30pm
How did you meet Jim Ghedi?
I met Jim through the LMRC and his record with Neal Hepplestone Of Abyssinia (our review). We struck up a friendship through our tastes in music – spiritual jazz and also philosophy. An old hippy meets a new one I guess. He has a beautiful spirit.
How did the idea for your collaboration come about?
Jim asked me how I felt about doing a live painting whist they performed at Tramlines. I didn’t have to think about it. As Yoko Ono said ‘YES’!
Words: Nicky Crewe.