I first heard about Keira Rathbone while I was on a walk at Chiswick House in West London. My friend Terry told me the story of how he was walking down by the river (near Kew Bridge) when he spotted a young lady and her typewriter. Terry went over to see what she was doing. His discovery amazed him; the young lady was ‘typing’ a picture of the scene. He talked to me with reverence about what he had seen, and about this lady who could create pictures with her typewriter.
Fast forward a few months, to the night my husband and I went along to the monthly tweet up (get together for local tweeters) at the Crown and Anchor pub in Chiswick. Ahrani, who organises the tweet up, had invited Keira to join us that night, and she introduced us. We were excited to hear Keira’s story. Wanting to know more, we decided to go down to her studio that Sunday.
Ahrani joined us for our Sunday adventure, and the three of us popped down to Keira’s studio (by the Chiswick Food Market.) On Sundays, Keira runs a stall just outside her studio at the market. She sells her original and unique cards, shirts and art at the stall. The paintings and products just seem to sell themselves, and before long, Ahrani and I had bought some shirts, and cards. It became obvious to us, that not only is Keira a super talented artist, but that she has a savvy business sense at the same time.
During our visit that Sunday, Keira took us into her studio and showed us some of her originals, which completely blew us away! The pictures have a real sense of movement about them and seem to jump of the pages (if you know what I mean.) One of our favourites was a profile view of a young woman’s face, with her hair flowing around her. We bought a card with that image on it. Keira told us that day about the show she was doing in central London at the end of July. We knew that we had to go!
On Thursday, 31st July, Paul and I made our way to The Vaults Gallery, on Leake St, to experience Keira’s show, which was called ‘The Brink’. ‘The Brink’ is an exhibition of works exploring that state you’re in before you know. ‘The Brink’ is not all about Keira’s work however, but showcases many other artists, who have collaborated with Keira for the show. Artists, film makers, sound artists, and poets all have played a part in creating this show.
As we arrived at the entrance of the Vaults Gallery, there was a huge wooden typewriter stood proudly outside. This was how we knew we were in the right place. Shortly after we arrived, Keira stood at the front of the room and welcomed everyone to the show. She asked a Poet friend to open the show by reading one of his poems. So with a flurry of words, The Brink came to life.
As we walked through the gallery, we were welcomed by the sight of pictures on the walls, some of which were Keira limited editions, and some were collaborations with other artists. There were Keira originals hanging down from the ceiling in a central panel in the room. On the one wall was a movie playing, which showed Keira creating one of her masterpieces. The room was alive with movement, images, sounds and places to explore. This was unlike any other art exhibition that either of us had ever been too. It was like discovering a new world; an artistic adventure, if you like.
Our favourite pieces from the evening were four pictures that Keira had done with photographer Johanna Parkin, which showed the four elements (air, water, fire and earth) in a unique and charming way. These are definitely on my wish list for the future!
Keira Rathbone shows us that when you open your mind, and take action in creative ways, then miracles can happen. She has opened up a new world for my husband and I; a world of infinite possibilities. Keira shows us all that anything is possible.