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Keith Piper

  • CountryMalta
  • Born1960


Mixing the traditional media of painting, printmaking and sculpture with elements of digital and interactive technologies, Keith Piper’s large-scale multimedia and multi-screen installations are recognised by their ‘cut & paste,’ multi-layered aesthetics. Piper’s work explores the issues of racial, gender and class identity by presenting the viewer with what the artist describes as an ‘open-ended and contradictory puzzle of elements’ designed ‘to tease and irritate the spectator.’ [1]

Piper was one of the founding members of the BLK Art Group, an association of black British art students from the Midlands that included Eddie Chambers, Donald Rodney, Claudette Johnson and Marlene Smith. In a series of exhibitions entitled ‘The Pan-Afrikan Connection,’ they explored the issues of black political struggles. The group was instrumental in raising the profile of Black artists.

In 2017, Iniva, in partnership with Bluecoat, presented a solo exhibition of Piper’s work. Entitled ‘Unearthing the Bankers Bones’, it featured large-scale painting, installation and digital works that address anxieties about the impacts of globalisation. Lending its title to the exhibition, the centrepiece of the show is a 70th Anniversary Commission for the Arts Council Collection with Iniva and Bluecoat, comprising of three synchronised high definition video projections, which depict a narrative of economic and social collapse. This is Piper’s first monographic show since the retrospective ‘Relocating the Remains,’ produced by Iniva in 1997.

Born in Malta to Caribbean parents, Piper spent his childhood in Birmingham. He studied Fine Art at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham and obtained MA in Environmental Media from Royal College of Art, London. In 2002, Piper received an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts from Wolverhampton University. With a career spanning over 30 years, Piper has exhibited widely, making interventions into arts and non-arts spaces both in the UK and internationally.

Piper lives and works in London, where he is an Associate Professor of Fine Art and Digital Media at Middlesex University.

[1] David Chandler, Keith Piper: Relocating the Remains (London: Iniva, 1997). p. 19
Find out more about Keith Piper by visiting the Stuart Hall Library
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