New Art Exhibition - Keith Maiden and Keith Ellis
Keith Ellis, my work
My interest in photography began when, as a
twelve-year-old, I attended an after-school class learning how to use a
darkroom. My father had given me an undeveloped film to practise with, and I
can still see in my mind’s eye the image, of me as a five-year-old boy on a
miniature roundabout fixed to the bed of a cart towed by a horse, begin to
emerge on the paper in the developer tray. The alchemy was exciting enough but
what really affected me was the picture of me fixed to that moment in time, the
image of a moment in time. Not long after that I changed schools and
unfortunately my darkroom experiences ended there.
It wasn’t until I was older and could afford to buy
a decent camera that I began to take pictures myself. The subject matter was
whatever caught my eye that I could compose within the viewfinder. Mostly the
photos were snapshots but occasionally a more considered image would emerge. The
work at that time was fairly limited as I relied upon mail-order labs for the developing
and printing, so had little control over the final picture. Over the following
years, picture taking was confined to snaps of friends and family with the
occasional burst of creativity.
Come the millennium my life changed. I became ill
and had to give up work. I was diagnosed with cirrhosis, which over the next
six years progressed to end-stage liver disease. I was extremely fortunate that
in June 2006 I became the recipient of a liver transplant. Recovery was steady
but just as I was beginning to return to full health my wife became ill. Lyn
was diagnosed with bowel cancer and despite surgery and a short period of
treatment with chemotherapy she died July 2009.
I was devastated; Lyn was my love, my companion and
Coping with the grief I felt meant me filling the
days and weeks that followed with activities to occupy my time and mind. I was
already a volunteer helpline worker with the Hepatitis C Trust and an active
member of the hospital liver transplant support group but I needed something
creative to lose myself in. A neighbour very kindly offered to enrol me with
the Art Academy doing a sculpture module - head modeling in clay. I decided to
buy a DSLR camera and to take photography more seriously.
I attended photography courses and joined Lip
(London Independent Photographers) where as a member of the Greenwich section I
learnt the importance of working with projects. The next few years I took part
in projects originating from Crossing Lines (held at Goldsmiths University of
London, “Crossing Lines is an ongoing forum
for collaboration between photographers and researchers whose central interest
is the urban situation, its constituents and its dynamics.”)
such as “The London Village Project”, “The Swanscombe Project” and “A Loose
Traverse”, all concerned with the urban landscape.
2014 became a year of major changes when I was
fortunate to be offered a place on a treatment trial, which would result in the
eradication of the virus that had blighted my life for so many years. And I
made the decision to move out of London to a new home in Dorset.
The pictures I’ve chosen to show represent projects
I’ve participated in and projects I’ve developed myself. In photographing the
urban landscape I’m draw to the juxtaposition of old and new, decay and new
birth and nature and the manmade. Since moving to Dorset, I have had to
reappraise the way I work, as I hope the West Bay series illustrates.
Keith Maiden VULNERABLE LANDSCAPE
I am a retired literature teacher who moved to London in 2003 to take an Art degree at Middlesex University. I am a photographer and painter.
I am interested in urban landscape, in edgelands, neglected or forgotten places within., or on the edge of, cities. It is the vulnerability of these landscapes that appeals to me, places whose identity is about to be lost or changed as a result of redevelopment or natural process. Specifically, since moving to London, I have been drawn to the Hackney Wick/ Stratford area which has now been transformed into the Olympic Park; the development of the East London line and the changes to places along the line; and most recently to the King’s Cross redevelopment project.
|Event Date||08-05-2016 12:00 am|
|Event End Date||30-09-2016 12:00 am|