On Monday 21st November, 2016 Flowers Gallery hosted a special ‘in conversation’ event between former Official British War Artist John Keane, and journalist and television presenter Jon Snow. Please click on the video below to watch a recording of the event.
Snow is best known for being the longest-running presenter of the Channel 4 News, since 1989. He won a BAFTA in 2005, and was named Journalist of the Year (2006) and Presenter of the Year (2009) by the Royal Television Society. Snow joined Flowers Gallery in East London immediately after presenting the Channel 4 News, which Keane describes as a “an essential fixed point in my daily consumption of news”.
John Keane’s reputation as a political artist has been established through a sustained artistic inquiry into the horrors of military and social conflicts around the world, and the effects of media distortion. His subjects have included Northern Ireland, Central America and the Middle East; and has involved working with organisations such as Greenpeace and Christian Aid. Keane first came to prominence when he was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum in 1990 to be the Official British War Artist of the Gulf War.
The pair were introduced in 2009 when Keane was commissioned to paint a portrait of Snow to mark his 20th anniversary with Channel 4. Former Director of the National Portrait Gallery Sandy Nairne said of the piece "Jon Snow by John Keane brings a much loved figure from television into the world of art, to striking effect." Following the portrait commission, Snow interviewed Keane for the television series ‘The Genius of British Art’ in 2010, and they have remained in touch. The territory that Keane has explored in his career as a painter has often overlapped with Snow's own. The pair discussed their shared interest in politics and current affairs, the evolution of war art and its continued value in a digital society, and Keane’s project produced in response to the commemoration of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, which was the subject of his exhibition If You Knew Me. If you Knew Yourself. You Would Not Kill Me at Flowers Gallery, Kingsland Road.
Flowers Gallery is pleased to be hosting a special ‘in conversation’ event between former Official British War Artist John Keane, and journalist and television presenter Jon Snow. Snow is best known for being the longest-running presenter of the Channel 4 News, since 1989. Snow will join us at Flowers Gallery in East London immediately after he has presented the programme, which Keane describes as a “an essential fixed point in my daily consumption of news”.
Paintings of the Moscow theatre siege, 2002.
All the artists have generously donated A5 sized postcards anonymously. You won't know who has created the postcard until the auction is closed. The starting bid for all items is £35.
Kneel 2016, Monotype
Artists, actors and celebrities are joining refugees and school children for the British Red Cross Postcards for Syria project to mark five years of the humanitarian crisis.
What Are You Looking At? 2001. Illegal wood cut and digital print
Islington Tribune 20th November 2015
John Watson, Chairman, St Ives Society of Artists, a keen collector of art by Camberwell artists, and Michael Gaca, Director, Belgrave St Ives, who studied painting at Camberwell, have jointly curated this large scale exhibition of paintings and drawings
18 – 22 November 2015.
Imperial War Museum North
an exhibition of self portraits
This is what I did..The Advisory Committee decided to go with something else
World Premiere. Co-commissioned by Brighton Festival
For anyone who may have heard me blathering on about at some point over the last six or seven years, this is a taster video we made of a workshop presentation at the National Theatre Studio in 2010
Ghost of Gone Birds will be presenting its latest show at the Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, Shoreditch, London E2 7ES from Nov.2 to 23rd featuring over 200 new works from artists as diverse as Sir Peter Blake, Ralph Steadman, John Keane,Charming Baker, Rob Ryan and Kai & Sunny. The show is dedicated to breathing artistic life back into the bird species we have lost. There will be live printing, talks, readings and performances
A five part series conceived and curated by Lou Stein, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3's The Essay
There is an urban legend that Tom Lehrer gave up political satire when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Henry Kissinger in 1973. Tracy Emin was elected a Royal Academician in 2008. Where are you, Tom?
Children in Conflict was a touring exhibition by Wolverhampton Art Gallery in association with Christian Aid, visiting the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry from 11 July - 13 September 2009. Two works by John Keane from this exhibition, Brothers 1 and Brothers 2, will be displayed for 12 months in the Peace & Reconciliation gallery.
An exhibition and auction of works donated by British & international artists
More paintings about war and religion.
When evolution sceptics wish to attack Charles Darwin's theories, they often point to the human eye. How could something so complex, they argue, have developed through random mutations and natural selection, even over millions of years? Even though Darwin and his followers have provided credible explanations which have answered these questions, 150 years after the publication of On the Origin of Species the battle still rages. The starting point of John Keane’s new series of paintings, Intelligent Design plays with the contrasting belief systems of scientific empiricism and religious faith, and uses image and metaphor of visual perception to reflect upon this conflict of ideas - and the very real conflicts that they continue to fuel A series of ‘ink blot’ paintings use Darwin ?s face in a Rorschach test to reveal hidden species - butterflies in his eyes, bears in his beard... His face appears miraculously on the body of a Peppered Moth, (a hotly contested species cited by advocates as tangible evidence of evolution), like the Virgin Mary in a piece of toast, or the face of Christ in the Turin Shroud. Keane is playfully suggesting to us that perhaps we see what we want, or are conditioned, to see However, the bulk of this new work addresses the atrocities of the war in Iraq and its link to the home grown terrorism that implicates us all. Keane was the official war artist for the Imperial War Museum during the first Gulf war, but this is the first time he has made reference to the current conflict in Iraq. In a series of powerful and disturbing paintings, subjects include mutilations of the human body and the torture of prisoners - hooded and deprived of sight. Other subjects allude to the London tube bombings, the attack on Glasgow airport, and the murder of Theo Van Gogh in Amsterdam. All of these atrocities grasp at a perceived justification seen through a prism of ideology and religion. In this exhibition, Keane is boldly and uncompromisingly confronting the belief systems and perceived threats that increasingly divide the population of a planet which should really be addressing the far more serious issue of it?s own survival A full colour catalogue with an introduction by playwright David Edgar was published to coincide with the exhibition.
Some years ago a fat envelope arrived on my door mat marked DCMS. The contents turned out to be an application form to join a list of worthies who might be considered for positions as trustees of public bodies. With exhilarating thoughts about how the art establishment had finally come to its senses and was now humbly begging me to serve on one of its ruling cabals, I waded through paragraphs on topics such as ?probity in public office?, ?conflicts of interest? and how all appointees were personally approved by the Prime Minister. It turned out that the then director of the National Portrait Gallery had proposed me as possible candidate for a vacancy on their board, and, needless to say, I was flattered by his consideration. I duly completed the application and returned it to the DCMS, and I don?t remember whether it was with disappointment or relief that I was subsequently informed that the position had been awarded to someone else no doubt more suited to the post. End of story, or so I thought. Imagine my surprise, therefore, upon arriving at my studio one day toward the end of 2004 to find a message from someone at ?Tate? soliciting an application to fill a vacancy of artist trustee. With exhilarating thoughts about how the art establishment had finally come to its senses and was now humbly begging me to serve on one of its ruling cabals, I immediately returned the call and requested an application form. It was really only as I sat at my computer and set about filling in the details that the penny dropped. Particularly when it came to the ?work in public collections? part of my cv, which, whilst it does mention a number of public museums and galleries, nowhere does it contain the word ?Tate?, which just about sums up my relationship with the contemporary art establishment. I alluded to this anomaly in the blank space allowed for pitching my case about why I?d be a jolly good trustee etc. whilst expressing my surprise at being approached in the first place. However,It was now plain to me that since the trusteeship of the existing artist from an approved stable (Gillian Wearing) was drawing to a close they better find another one quick, but presumably due process had to be followed and several submissions would need to be invited. Some underling had obviously dusted off my name on the DCMS list from an old filing cabinet and it got chucked in the hat to make up the numbers. Never for a moment, though, if I thought about it, did I feel that my application would be taken seriously, but I filed the application nonetheless, perhaps just to prove a point. In due course a letter from Nicholas Serota arrived which informed me that I ?did not match the criteria for the appointment as well as some of the other applicants?, which I took to mean ?There?s been a bureaucratic error. You?re not actually on the list of approved artists?. I could have told him this at the outset and saved us all the bother. Fiona Rae got the trusteeship, and I was left with a nasty taste in my mouth. Shortly afterwards I removed my name from the DCMS list.
In 2008/9 I showed the work I produced on my 2006 visit with the charity to examine the post war conditions in Angola. The work was part of a larger exhibition which toured to several other destinations, including Aberdeen and London. In the course of creating this work, I designed a number of African style fabrics, using motifs such as land mines and oil rigs, and these were incorporated into shirts, t-shirts and bags designed by Nicole Farhi, and sold to raise funds and promote awareness of the issues that face this country since the war ended.
This is an idea that came to me during the early stages of producing the paintings about the Moscow theatre siege of 2002. Having absolutely no track record in this field (aside from designing the set for a Salsa musical at the Watford Palace in 1993) I w