This project consisted of 2 field trips to Israel and the Occupied Territories in 2002 and resulted in an exhibition which opened at the London institute Gallery in 2004 and which subsequently toured to the Naughton Gallery, Queen’s University, Belfast, the Derby Museum, and Aberystwyth Art Gallery. It was undertaken under the auspices of Christian Aid at a time when Israeli incursions into the West Bank and Gaza had resulted in considerable escalation of the conflict. My approach was travel to the areas most affected, interview both Palestinians and Israelis, and record
with a stills and video camera material which would later be incorporated into paintings in the studio.
The paintings themselves emerged from observations I made whilst I travelled in the region, sometimes deliberately using the historical and cultural perspective of the Judaeo-Christian tradition to allude to the importance of the Middle East in global politics. I employed a variety of approaches to image making, including digital media and ink jet printing mounted onto canvas. This involved further exploration on the computer both for storing and manipulating my direct source material in the process of making the paintings. The second visit to the region and the studio process was filmed by the BBC and the documentary John Keane: Artist at War broadcast on BBC4 and BBC2. A catalogue was published with an introduction by Suzanne Goldenberg, who for several years was Guardian correspondent in Jerusalem.