83-85 Main Street

Bushmills, Co. Antrim

Northern Ireland

BT57 8QD

Tel. 028 2073 1324



Gallery 1608 County Antrim BACK

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BIO:  Keith Wilson


Keith Wilson studied at Methodist College, Belfast, the University of Ulster and at Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland, gaining an Honours Degree in Visual Communication and a further Postgraduate Diploma in Illustration.


For many years he has created images of places and objects in response to his immediate surroundings. The resulting drawings, paintings and prints relate to very particular sites which are highly specific and personal, yet hopefully universal.

Some recurring motifs have been ditches, open fields, roads, boundaries and puddles. He is constantly involved in trying to capture the essence of a place and describing how one can retrace one’s footsteps, look again and take time to think, often working ‘in series’ to accentuate this notion of 'returning'.


More recently he has been involved with many residency programmes in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the U.S. and has continued to investigate and remain aware of his environment. The last major exhibition of his work consisted of descriptions of places around his home and garden and looked at how we get our bearings when we are away from home; the importance of finding one’s place and reacting to what is right on one’s doorstep.

His newest work concentrates on moving back and forth between direct observation and studio practice in these many different locations.

He aims to make the everyday apparent, appreciated and intriguing and is interested in emphasising a stillness and tranquility through his work, ignoring the spectacular and getting closer to the more ordinary aspects of a particular setting.

His paintings and drawings develop slowly over time. He often describes their development as ‘growing’.


His many awards include the Axa Insurance drawing prize (2005) and the Hennessy-Craig Scholarship award (2006), both at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin and in 2010 the Mayo County Council Bursary Award. In 2008 he was shortlisted for the Golden Fleece Award in Dublin and in 2009 was commissioned to produce a series of images to accompany ‘Wayside Shrines’ by poet Paul Muldoon.


He has been artist in residence at the Royal Hibernian Academy, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, the Ballinglen Arts Foundation and Artestudio Ginestrelle in Assisi and also a returning visiting artist to the University of Wisconsin and TASIS England.


Keith has held numerous solo exhibitions, shown extensively throughout Ireland and his work has been included in many group shows in the UK, Europe and the United States. In 2012 he held a successful solo exhibition at the Oliver Sears Gallery in Dublin, exhibited at the American Irish Historical Society, New York, was an invited artist to the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition in London, the National Self Portrait Collection of Ireland at the University of Limerick and also to the prestigious Le Logge in Assisi, Italy.


Recent U.S. exhibitions of a collaborative print project have been a great success and a limited edition portfolio of prints is to be released in the near future.

His paintings and drawings are held in many public and private collections worldwide including the collections of the EPA, AXA Insurance, AIB, the National Self Portrait Collection of Ireland, Queen’s University, Belfast and the University of Wisconsin.


He is currently taking part in a fundraising auction for the Ballinglen Arts Foundation and exhibiting in a group exhibition at UW Milwaukee as part of the Southern Graphics Council’s International event. This year also sees a returning residency in Italy.


He is a Member of the Royal Ulster Academy and a Fellow of the Ballinglen Arts Foundation.


He lives and works in Co. Mayo, Ireland.


Wilson, Keith