As part of our new blog post theme, that of ‘Meet the art teacher/artist’ each month we will highlight either an art teacher/tutor, artist or designer maker and ask a handful of questions, nothing too serious but something that could encourage some interaction between art teachers, artists also college tutors.
Welcome artist Aileen Keith. I worked with Aileen for 10 years at Edinburgh College of Art where she taught predominantly drawing.
If you would like to take part or know someone who would then download the questions here and fire them back to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Who are you and where do you work? My name is Aileen Keith. I am now a full-time artist and I work in my studio which is at my home 20 miles south of Edinburgh. For nearly 30 years, I was a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art.
2. When did you decide you wanted to be an art teacher/tutor/artist? There wasn’t a specific decision moment! I always drew and made stuff. I had a great art teacher and parents who encouraged me to go in that direction if I wanted to, but there was no pressure!
3. Where and what did you study? I specialised in Sculpture and Drawing at ECA
4. What is the best thing about being an art teacher/tutor/artist? I get to do something I love every day and it’s never boring! As a lecturer, it was the contact with the students….
5. How would you describe your style (clothes, art, home….whichever you choose) Abstract, but with a narrative. It sometimes includes an autobiographical element.
6. What inspires you to make the work you do? A curiosity about things. The belief that the next piece of work will be better than the last.
7. Do you listen to music while you’re working? If so, what? Not usually. This may sound funny but I find it stops me looking and thinking !! Radio 4 is on in the background. Sometimes a discussion will ring bells, give me ideas. I like music when I drive.
8. Which artist or designer inspires you most and why? There isn’t one particular artist. Prehistoric art, folk art, Rachel Whiteread, Martin Puryear, Cy Twombly, Willam De Kooning……the list goes on…..
9. If you could give one bit of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would it be? Take more risks and be more confident.
10. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to become an artist or designer? Work hard and don’t give up!
11. What’s your greatest achievement? That’s a hard one… there have been lots of small ones, work-wise. Personally, my son, but but that wasn’t only my achievement!!
12. What three things would you still like to do before you die? Three (or more) solo exhibitions!!
13. What’s your favourite food? Another difficult one…. bread and jam!….fresh baked bread (sourdough if possible) with a slightly burnt crust and homemade raspberry jam. I love raspberries.
14. Where was the last place you went on holiday? Iceland
15. What was the last book you read? I’m reading the exhibition catalogue of Anni Albers Tate Modern show.
16. What is your biggest distraction? In the summer…..gardening.
17. If you ruled the world, what single act would you carry out. That’s too much of a fantasy …. equality in all senses.
18. Do you have any regrets? Lots ….
19. In no more than five words, write your own epitaph. (Optional!) More interesting to know what other people would write for my epitaph, I think!
See more of Aileen’s work on her website: https://aileenkeith.com
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