Keith Fyfe

‘The exhibition ” Pathways” is a culmination of about 5 years work. I ended up working small because, as a full-time teacher, I had precious little time to finish large pieces. It was very frustrating and I most often lost the plot. It was when I absent-mindedly started drawing on a Portman’s colour chart booklet I had some interesting results, enough for me to pursue the idea.

Landscape for two reasons. You can make a few unpremeditated arbitrary marks and they’re more likely to look like landforms than a face. Making a face needs a conscious decision in advance. So I invent these places and if I get it right I become immersed in the creation and inhabit the place. I construct as I go, making outcrops, paths, shadows, peaks, vegetation, gullies, clouds. Jules Verne didn’t travel to the centre of the earth but he takes you there, and Orwell wasn’t a farmer.  My understanding of landscape is not that of a botanist or geologist but comes from spending a lot of time in natural environments.

The representation isn’t the thing itself but can encourage ideas in conjunction with the title. The titles are important. Because I produce small works I can bring collections together and assign meaning through the title.

Born in the UK, I studied fine art in Carlisle and Cardiff and spent most of my life as a visual arts teacher of students of all ages. Teaching was an invaluable aid to the development of my own practice in that it obliged me to deal with all manner of artistic problems and the search for solutions.

Most of my knowledge of landscape comes from walking. I don’t often sketch plein-air as there’s an overload of stimulation that I can’t process. I prefer looking. While walking, I absorb consciously and subconsciously, and have walked in many places around the world. There’s something about landscapes that is universal and timeless and I never weary of it. It’s certain that this planet will continue even after the last person gazes on the last sunset. I never depict people consciously in my work, however, as viewers of the work, people are always present in the picture.’

Keith Fyfe was a Finalist  twice in the Art Gallery of NSW Wynne Prize (2013, 2018), and also in the Fleurieu (2013), Mosman Art Prize (2017,18,19), Calleen (2014,15,17,18/,19), Muswellbrook (2015), KAAF Prize (2018/2020) and Tattersalls (2013).