Walking the Land connect art, landscape and community, with the landscape and walking providing the catalyst for their creative activities. Based in the Gloucestershire countryside, Walking the Land comprises three lead artists, Richard Keating, Tom Keating and Kel Portman. Each share a passion for the landscape, using artworks to bring landscape and environmental issues to a wider public audience. As painters, sculptors, photographers, videographers, curators, academics and educators we produce work which refers to specific places, localities and environments, combining art and walking.
Associated artists play an important and active role in Walking the Land’s practise – they are fully engaged with the choice of issues and subject material, contributing to exhibitions, walks and engagement with the wider community.
Richard Keating MA
After undertaking post graduate studies in Environmental Management, Richard worked as Director of The Great Western Community Forest before working as a free lance facilitator and consultant taking up such contracts as Community Renewables Initiative National Co-ordinator and South West Regional Manager for GreenSpace. During this period Richard combined these environmental and community interests with his earlier days at art college and studied part-time for a Masters degree in Drawing as Process.
Since working as a part of Walking the Land, Richard has again signed-up for further studies, this time researching for a PhD at Swansea Metropolitan University in Landscape Aesthetics. His environmental and community interests are reflected in his research and in his roles as a Director of Stroud Nature and Stroud Woodland Co-op.
“We experience life through our senses, this I’d call real experience, first hand engagement with the world around us in the moment. I see my arts practice as increasing opportunity for such engagement, art as a doorway between our inner and outer worlds.”
Tom Keating BA
Tom Keating graduated from Blackpool College with a degree in wildlife photography, specialising in the communication of mans’ relationship with the environment. As well as being an artist and photographer, he is also a lecturer in photography, webdesign and digital imaging.
I am exited about making things, whether working on my own or in a group. My interest is in exploring journeys, place and ideas, thought and conversation, expressing the results through different types of media.
Kel Portman MA, CertEd
Kel is a former Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts, London. He is a practising artist, printmaker, photographer, exhibition curator and educator with extensive experience of teaching in Europe, Asia and with an academic background that includes a period as a Fulbright Exchange Professor in the USA.
He has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad with work held in private collections in Britain, USA and Europe. In addition to Walking the Land, he works with Gloucestershire Digital Arts Forum and Stroud Valleys Artspace, an artist-led cooperative in Gloucestershire. He teaches with Skyros in Greece, Thailand and Cambodia and in the UK and Italy with HF Holidays.
Kel’s creative work examines an interaction with the landscape which is often the result of a personal or group journey, observation or event. Multiple viewpoints and interwoven overlays replicate the dynamic sensations experienced during the ‘journey process’. His imagery also explores responses to detail and the often overlooked features of landscape and place. Images are not medium specific and are often the result of several different media that could include Photography, Printmaking, Drawing and Digital Imaging.