Anwen Keeling

Anwen Keeling

Sydney, NSW, Australia

About Anwen Keeling

Anwen Keeling is a contemporary Australian Figurative Painter

"Keeling’s realist paintings capture evocative moments in fictional lives with a reverence for poignancy, innocence and elegance. As an accomplished technician (with both camera and brush), Keeling’s genre of heightened realism reveals an adept skill in truthfully depicting the body in space through the use of linear perspective, velvety colour and tight compositions.

Keeling stages her narrative by first photographing and sketching her models in a domestic setting. Each painting’s scene in The Blue Room suite unfolds in the same blue room. The photography is integral to her working process as it captures fleeting moments of light and shadow. Keeling then skillfully employs rich pigments and layers of thin glazes to create her precise paintings. Gillian Serisier aptly states in her 2014 catalogue essay:

“Painting with oil on Belgian linen, Keeling is enamoured by the act of painting… she nurtures paint’s ability to describe light through the glowing layers of transparent colour that shimmer with in the rich lead white, umbers and ultramarine of her palette.” (Gillian Serisier, The Blue Room, 2014)

Despite her painting’s almost photo-realist quality, Keeling never denies the surface’s painterly quality where by the brushwork and the thin layering of oil and varnish still remain present.

The suite of paintings in The Blue Room moves away from evoking a drama reminiscent of Hitchcock and film noir, and focuses on the atmosphere that light and shadow play in transforming the pose of the female nude. Titles, such as Swathe, Enfold and Embrace, suggest the interplay between the light source and the varied poses and angles of the sitter. In Embrace, the strong light through window shutters falls across the model. As the model embraces her legs, the light source mimics this embrace, caressing the sun on her back. An atmosphere of intimacy and vulnerability are captured. As the viewer, we are witness to a private experience, viewing the female in a moment of contemplation, never able to enter the space of the personal.

“The work of Anwen Keeling is defined by feminine beauty. It is a world of soft tones, gentle curves and reposed thought. Light plays across a form as a liquid element caressing and defining its own trajectory insensible to pattern and mood. The woman herself: young; beautiful; supple is defined by form.” (Gillian Serisier, The Blue Room, 2014)

Inspired by painters including Caravaggio, Vermeer, Edward Hopper, Michaël Borremans, Eric Fischl, Lucian Freud, and photographers Jeff Wall and Bill Henson, Keeling also finds inspiration from her extensive collection of art and film publications. She states: “Hitchcock has been a long standing favourite, because of the simplicity and strength of the framing of his scenes and the use of the single light source.” (Anwen Keeling, 2007)








Education

1998 Bachelor of Arts (Visual) (First Class Honours) and University Medal, Canberra School of Art, Australian National University
2001 Masters of Art (European Fine Art), Winchester School of Art, Southampton University, Barcelona, Spain

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2014 The Blue Room, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney
2012 Anwen Keeling, Michael Reid Murrurundi, New South Wales 2011 Sporthorse, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney
2009 Shadow of a Doubt, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney
2007 Shadowlands, Art Galleries Schubert, Queensland
2007 The Falling Dark, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney 2005 Languor, Art Galleries Schubert, Queensland 2004 Waiting Room, Brian Moore Gallery, Sydney
2003 New Paintings, Brian Moore Gallery, Sydney
2001 Allegory, Panorama Gallery, Barcelona, Spain 1999 Swathed, Span Galleries, Melbourne
Paintings and Drawings, Goya Galleries, Melbourne
GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2013 LSG2013, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney
2011 The Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 2010 The Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
State of the Art, ABSOLUT Stairwell Gallery, Sydney 2009 Summer Exhibition, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney 2008 Melbourne Art Fair, (Liverpool Street Gallery), Melbourne 2007 ABN AMRO Emerging Artist Award, Sydney
Come Hither: Interpretations of the Boudoir, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery
Summer Exhibition, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney 2006 Metro 5 Art Award, Metro 5 Gallery, Melbourne
Melbourne Art Fair, (Liverpool Street Gallery), Melbourne
Jeans for Genes, Art Auction for the Children’s Medical Research Institute, Sydney An artist at my table, Art Auction, National Art School, Sydney
2005 Dog Trumpet, Michael Nagy Fine Art, Sydney Metro 5 Art Award, Metro 5 Gallery, Melbourne
2004 Home Ground - 5 Alumni Painters of the Canberra School of Art, Canberra School of Art Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra
Doug Moran Portrait Prize, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney
Salon des Refuses - Archibald Prize, S.H. Ervin Gallery, National Trust, Sydney Metro 5 Art Award, Metro 5 Gallery, Melbourne
2003 The Year in Art, S.H. Ervin Gallery, National Trust, Sydney Brian Moore Memorial Show, Brian Moore Gallery, Sydney
Canberra Art Prize, Canberra Italo Club, Canberra
Love Your Work - NSW TAFE Teachers Exhibition, MUSE Gallery, Sydney
John Cootes Memorial Art Prize, Berrima District Art Gallery, Berrima
Jeans for Genes, Art Auction for the Children’s Medical Research Institute, Sydney Beaux Arts Ball Charity Art Auction, Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
2002 Naked, Brian Moore Gallery, Sydney
Generations, Art Auction for the Children’s Medical Research Institute, Sydney
2001 Still Lives, Fisherton Mill, Salisbury, United Kingdom
Zumo, Winchester School of Art Masters Students Exhibition, WSA, Winchester, United Kingdom
Zumo, Winchester School of Art Students Exhibition, Can Felipa Centro de Belles Artes, Barcelona, Spain
2000 Jeans for Genes, Art Auction for the Children’s Medical Research Institute, Sydney 1999 Portia Geach Portrait Award, S.H. Ervin Gallery, National Trust, Sydney
Salon des Refuses - Archibald Prize, S.H. Ervin Gallery, National Trust, Sydney 1998 Excite, Graduating Exhibition Canberra School of Art, Australian National University,
Canberra