19 September 2015

Renate (Meyer) Keeping

A visit to the Keeping Gallery in Shortlands - set up in their home by the wife of Charles Keeping after his death in 1988 -
Both artists had studios on the ground floor and these, as well as other rooms and hallways, hold their work. Renate died last year, shortly before a major show of her work at the Knitting and Stitching show. One of the rooms in the museum keeps her "life story" embroideries behind glass -
Along with the finished work is the design source -
Renate could write in stitch, and set out much of the family's history that way, including images derived, often, from packaging -
Properly photographed, and with some annotation, these would make a fascinating book.

Renate was also a book illustrator - here are two of hers -
Charles of course illustrated many books, some very dramatically; they fill a cupboard. This one, for example, is his illustrated version of an autobiographical incident; the book it became is on the right -
Some of his gentler lithographs hang in the hallways -
Renate was a prodigious embroiderer, and had been a member of the 62 Group of textile artists; it is her work on the cover -
 Her series of aging apples, painted and then stitched, was on display at Knit&Stitch, and it was great to see them again, up close -

 and all together -
Another series involved eggs -

My eye was drawn to these textiley teapots, which were made in the ceramics department of Camberwell "years ago" by daughter Vicky -
This piece, Vicky explained, was based on a hospital bedstead and had the finges made by rolling out huge long thin rolls of porcelain clay -
Do go to the gallery's website and watch the welcome video.


Olga Norris said...

What a coincidence. Just before we went up to Skye I had been sorting various things to do with my publishing days. In the 70s I commissioned Charles Keeping, whose work was stunning. I had known about Rachel's work, and googled them. I had not known that she had died. Wondrous work from both of them, and not well enough known.

Olga Norris said...

Renate - not Rachel! My brain is befuzzed.

Liesbeth Williams said...

All the videos on the Keeping website are wonderful. It is so great to watch an elderly woman talk with such vigour and confidence about her work. Thank you.