Keam’s Yard is a shared studio and gallery space on Whitstable’s seafront run by artist Bruce Williams. Each artist, currently including silver smith Fraser Wallin and painter Gary Philips, has a small working area and space to display and sell their work. It’s a hardworking multi-functional space, but it seems to serve them well.
It must take tremendous discipline to work so tidily in such a small space, but I suspect this is more than balanced by the inspirational influence of the location and working alongside artists from other disciplines. I am fascinated by cross-discipline inspiration and by different solutions to the problem of where and how to work. I like the fact this space is shared between people and between purposes.
These are just little close-ups of the palate above, but I think they’re quite beautiful in their own right. Telling some of the story of why and how a piece of art is made; letting people who want to buy paintings watch them being created, can only add value.
I loved seeing the sketches and photographs above Bruce’s desk, which offered real insight into his creative process,
…and also the inspirational items he chooses to surround himself with. It’s interesting to see the influence not only of an artist’s immediate surroundings, but the impact of local life and culture on his work. All of this gives context to the resulting paintings.
I do like things that are developed for a very specific purpose and silver smith Fraser Wallin’s desk with a semi-circle cut out to enable him to get right in amongst his work really appealed to me – as did his collection of silver smithing tools.
But perhaps what I liked most about this studio was its location. Having grown up by the sea, I find it calming and inspirational in equal measure, and being able to sit right outside your studio and sketch it must be really wonderful.
Further reading for the especially geeky: