Typewriter Artwork by Keira Rathbone


Keira Rathbone is a fine artist living and working in London.
For over 15 years Rathbone has developed a unique drawing technique that began somewhat accidentally, employing a manual typewriter as a drawing tool.
Rathbone draws images from life using my typewriter, seeing each imprint as a texture or shape with which to build complete drawings.
The artist develops and exhibit images based around compelling themes and often incorporate live audio/visual performances by typing before an audience with video projection, sound effects and collaborations with other artists in the UK and abroad.
Whether typing live at an event or on the streets, Rathbone connects with public of all ages and walks of life in a very natural way.  This interaction always excites me, so she wishes to explore and convey this aspect more and more in my work.  Always seeking projects involving art with social engagement for positive effect.

Keira Rathbone Interview

Keira Rathbone Interview

I am Keira Rathbone and I'm a typewriter artist.

Transcription 19 May 2020

How are you doing now?
I am doing all right in lockdown doing fine actually surprisingly well I think because of having suddenly accept that my son wasn't gonna be in the school for a non foreseeable amount of time yeah I think we for coping all right so far I say one day at a time yeah so far so good.
We’ve got a little baby girl as well who's just turned one, so it's actually a really nice time to be a little family I think, it's not without its difficulties of course but on the whole we're doing all right.

Whats Lockdown like for you?
I think you lockdowns interesting yet we were getting through it keeping the boy entertained and educated a teeny tiny bit managing to work a little bit in the afternoons and at night today I've got the whole day so that's amazing and but yeah it's interesting. I've got my unofficial mother-in-law who we get her shopping for, so I feel like I'm helping somebody a little tiny bit but yeah it's kind of like number-one priority is to keep your family safe I guess but I am thinking how how could I help other people a bit more.  I mean we're really really lucky where we are, even though we haven't got much, we're renting where we are that we've got a little garden my studio is right next door sometimes I feel like it's a little bit too close because people can just come in get water or whatever if they need to uninvited guests which is fine

What projects art you working on?
Projects I'm working on my site from vitamin C project which I have loved really loved actually really interesting I typed this picture of captain Tom birthday just because I wanted to mark the occasion but subsequently I've thought I would really like to offer the print as a limited edition print say that's what I've been doing since last week they've been available on my website and I'm donating half of the proceeds to the NHS inspired by Captain Colonel Tom of course so if anyone wants to do that it's on my website Kira Rathbone com the other projects I've been doing the 30 works
30 days in the whole of April so it's led me to doing a lot of sketchbook work, pencil drawings and sketches and using a bit of colour again that's my my late grandmother's water-soluble pencils which I love to use because they're really quick the 30 works 30 days
Project has just made me think about different directions I could go in which is kind of what I was hoping it would do it made me think about ideas have been in the background and just trying things a bit more other mediums one of them was
to teach yourself something using wikiHow and I when I went for the thaumatrope which is .. it's this thing here which you spin. So you get a piece of card and you stick one image to one side and another one to the other and when you spin it it's it's like an early animation technique which I'm just
hanging in the studio so that it's a reminder to pick that up again when I get some time or another idea.

I did have a solo show that was gonna be March in Putney but because that's been postponed I'm actually seeing it as an opportunity to develop the work and perhaps show a more developed selection of works and themes and so what I would have had, so that's quite exciting seeing it all is a bit of an opportunity to, which I'm sure a lot of people are, to grow what they're about reflect and think about what what it what it is you're trying to do or say.

Is lockdown having an influence on your work?
Lockdown is definitely having a bit of an influence on my work in that and having watched a Grayson Perry program Art Club programs thinking about how I'm gonna record and portray the time that I'm living through now so that we can look back on it and recognize that this was quite a unique time so yeah in my sketchbooks again I've been recording things like the tapes up playground and this was like view from the room he's coming home from the home and this was like an NHS Thursday night I could see my neighbours and distance pots and pans and clapping and empty school but we live next door my son goes to view from the room again so kinda like anyone looking isn't it this time as well as those lovely walks you can go on and appreciate the local area but also things like these were cordoned off park benches keep these little signs of things that we would have touched or played with or sat down
and socialized and no longer accessible so I feel like they're quite important signs the time the women living in.

Because I'm quite literal in the sort of thing I make it's quite it's less emotional but more literal.

What are you looking at on Instagram?
I’m not particularly addicted to Instagram actually or other artists but that I get a little obsessions I suppose with people like at the moment it's Grayson Perry did I mention him and his art club show did I mention that yeah I think they did and how what he's asking us to do I think it's really good I think he's
hit the nail on the head there it's making me feel confident in my ideas and thoughts about what I could or should be doing right now when I can.

I don't think am on Instagram enough really if if I was going to talk to a social media expert they'd probably say oh you need to be doing it once a day or ever for it to be worthwhile but I just post when I've got something to post and that's when I have a look around let what other people are doing other than that I don't really look that much but actually had been done the 30 works 30 days thing and the artists support pledges going on at the moment and Vitamin Sea and I'm looking at all individual artists but not nothing no one in particular just broadening my horizon I think in terms of the artists that I'm looking at
definitely I'm not sort of keep exploring I think that's the chance that this is all given us is a bit more time to find out who's out there.

What are you listening to/ reading/ watching when you can?
I’m listening to Radio 6 a lot in the studio; Gideon Cole in the night, Carys on this Sunday because they love her Sunday show and a bit in the afternoons because that's when I'm mostly in the studio afternoons in the night and then upstairs when we're at home it's mostly Records because we've got a nice little healthy few shelves of vinyl my little girl she's just turned one and she's she's sort of pointing we realized she wants a record on she's like (pointing) so we are like ‘oh you want a record okay, Lets put on a record’ and then so it's
really nice and healthy I think.

I'm reading based on a recommendation I heard from Nadine Shah, Brix Smith Starts  autobiography ‘the rise the fall and the rise’ which already have a new read about twenty pages but it's witty really
interesting I knew it would be interesting like reading about people's lives when they've had an interesting colourful life yeah.

Anything you'd like to add?
I just wanted to say thank you to Pam and Emily for including me in Vitamin Sea again and it was real really interesting and fun to come up with ideas for decorating a beach hut and I can't wait to see everybody else is it's gonna be great I just wish we could have seen them in real life.

See you after the virus guys!

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