About the artist - Stone Carver Simon Keeley
My original training and experience in the world of stone, was training to become a 'Stone Mason' at York College in the mid 90's, then working as a 'Stone Mason' for Bowmans in Stamford, Lincolnshore. Then later training as a 'Stone Carver' at the London City and Guilds Art School, dealing predominantly with historical ornament/ carving. Over the years, I have addressed contemporary forms and issues with particular reference to 'Art in Architecture' which I studied at MA level, at the University of East London.
My range of skills as a stone carver involves an extensive knowledge of stone, drawing nature, ornament and the human figure. Creating scale models of any of the afore-mentioned in clay or wax, making moulds, then casting in plaster or bronze. Photography is essential, archive and history of art is frequently researched for each project.
I have developed a passion for teaching which I do privately at my ‘summer studio’, the Birtley House in Surrey and West Dean college in Sussex.
Simon is delighted to win this years 2014 Craft & Design Silver award in Specialist Media to add to his previous accolade if The Gold award in 2011, his Silver award in 2012.
Craft & Design Selected Award 2011 – Specialist Media
(Specialist Judge Miriam Rose)
Simon was invited to Hatfield House Art & Design Event from 5th-8th May this year where he exhibited the best of his commissioned work and ran short workshops for the public. He will be repeating this at the Blenheim Palace 'Taste of Summer' event from 28th - 30th May 2011.
Specialist Judge Miriam Rose awarded Simon a GOLD AWARD on behalf of Craft & Design Magazine. www.craftanddesign.net
All the finalists show exceptional skill and creativity but for me the work of Simon Keeley takes my breath away. He is not just an immensely skilled stone carver, he has exceptional draftsmanship and the ability to adapt his skills to traditional and contemporary styles of work. Perhaps for me though, it is his desire to not just demonstrate his skills and have his work on view for all to see, but to pass on his skills through teaching at workshops and on courses that stands him out above the other finalists. All craft skills used today are based on those used for centuries by generations of master craftsmen and the passing on of these skills to future generations is vital to the survival of the skills and to enable our children and grandchildren to experience the joy that owning – and maybe creating - a skilfully made, beautiful piece of handcrafted work brings to our everyday lives.