The consequences of Bradley Keys’ meditations on locations of beauty and nostalgia are indicated through his ceramic vessels.
Bradley Keys started off with a degree in Biology, which has informed his ceramic production since graduating from art school in 1994. His work has always examined the natural world interspersed with built environments. His elevator storage jars sit gently beside vessels that speak to rivers and mountain peaks. Trout migrate across platter surfaces filled with streambed references.
Malcolm Andrews, in his book Landscape and Western Art, talks of how "we privately respond both to our natural environment and to pictures of that environment". With a subtle hand, Keys offers work that allows investigations into the ways we know, take in, and are affected by our environment. He is inspired by the elements of the world around him and reconstructs these aspects through his chosen ceramic processes.
I am constantly experimenting with different construction techniques, textures, glazes, and finishes in order to capture the essence of something that inspires awe. The colours of a stormy prairie sky at dusk, the textures of grass blowing in the wind, the pattern of light cutting through a crystal clear mountain stream to the rocks below. It is through these elements that I create work that quietly reveals itself over time.
As we move within our environment, so we interact with his works, taking in all the various viewpoints and responses that involvement in place offers. The forms and glazes of Bradley’s hand-built ceramic pieces incorporate the rhythms and colors of the prairie, the mountains and the rivers.
Keys has been a studio potter since 1994 and has recently returned to the studio full-time after working as the ceramic technician and teaching at the Alberta College of Art & Design, Calgary.
1992-1994 Alberta College of Art and Design (BFA with Distinction).
1990-1992 Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
1985-1989 University of Calgary, B.Sc. in Zoology.
2020, UPCOMING in May 2020 at Willock & Sax Gallery, Banff
2018, Mountain Peaks and Glacial Waters, Willock & Sax Gallery
2015, Topographic, Willock & Sax Gallery
2012, Grounded, Willock and Sax Gallery
2010, As the Crow Flows, Willock and Sax Gallery
2008, iPot, Willock and Sax Gallery, Banff National Park
2005, Elevators of Alberta, Willock and Sax Gallery, Waterton Lakes National Park
2001, Terra Sections, Willock and Sax Gallery, Waterton Lakes National Park
Selected Exhibitions Group:
2011, The Makings II, Willock and Sax Gallery, Banff
2010, Clay 2010, Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Alberta Craft Council Travelling Exhibition
2010, The Makings, Willock and Sax Gallery, Banff
2004, Clay Creates Culture, Alberta Potters' Association, VAAA Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, Honourable Mention.
2003, Mugs and Jugs, Vessels of Libation, Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton
2002, Art vs Craft, The Great Debate, Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton
2002, Bradley Keys Pots, Generations Gallery, Stony Plain, AB
2000, Artwalk 2000, Eclectibles, Calgary, AB.
2000, Home on the Range, The Station Cultural Centre, Okotoks, AB.
2000, Cover Stories, Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton, AB.
1999, Vanishing Icons, Provincial Museum, Edmonton, AB, travelling
1999, Tea for the Taking, Alberta Craft Council Vault Gallery, Edmonton.
1998 Clay Invitational, West End Gallery, Victoria, B.C.
1998, Clay, Spirits from the Earth, Alberta Craft Council Vault Gallery, Edmonton.
1997, Artwalk 97, Provenance Gallery, Calgary.
1997, Quality Trademark Show, Alberta Craft Council, Edmonton
1996 Vessels in Celebration, APA 25th Anniversary Show, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, travelling.
1995 Treetop Art Walk, Invermere, B.C.
1995, Half Dozen of the Other, Marion Nichol Gallery, Invitational ACA Alumni show, Calgary.
1995, Made in Alberta, APA juried show, Karuna Gallery, Calgary.
1995 Earth Shines, Sunlife Plaza, Calgary.
1995, Birthday Show, Provenance Gallery, Calgary.
1995, FLUX, Ceramics Department Graduating Show, Art is Vital, Calgary.
1995, ACA Graduating Show, Alberta College of Art.
1994 The Board of Governor's Award, Nominee; Louise McKinney Post Secondary Scholarship, Nominee; 1993 Louise McKinney Post Secondary Scholarship for Academic Excellence; Culpepper and Mile-Hi Ceramics Prize; Dr. J. C. Sproule Memorial Scholarship; 1985 Alexander Rutherford Scholarship;
2005, “Making Marks”, Robin Hopper, KP Books
“500 Cups”, Lark Publishing.
2004, “ Profiles, Alberta Craft, Culture in the Making," January
2000, “Contemporary Potters”, Rockport Publishing.
1999, “Where Magazine”, Rocky Mountain Edition, Summer 1999.
“Albertans”, Alberta Report, Feb. 1, 1999.
1998, The Best Of Pottery 2, Rockport Publishing, U.S.A
“Fete of Clay”, Legacy Magazine, Nov. to Jan. 1998.
1995, “Defining Design”, City Scope, March/April.
1993, “Throw and Altered”, Contact Magazine, by Bradley Keys, Autumn 1993, 94
Alberta Foundation for the Arts
University of Lethbridge
Numerous Private Collections in Canada, United States, Singapore, Indonesia, China, India, Norway, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom.
"Maybe when they're holding something, a mug or a little pot or something, to notice this couldn't have been made in a mold, it really can't be mass produced, which is kind of one of the things I try to go for." (Bradley Keys in "Ceramicist sees fundamental shifts in social interactions" by Dominique Carrier (Rocky Mountain Outlook, 28 August 2008.
Bradley in his studio, 2008.
STONEWARE - very hard, non-porous and sometimes slightly translucent pottery made from a mixture of clay and a fusible stone, fired at a temperature high enough to vitrify the stone but not the clay - 1,200-1,400 degrees Celsius or 2,200-2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (De Waal, Edmund. The Pot Book. Phaidon, 2015).