James Keay-Bright was brought up in a small village in Wales and went to school there, having very much a rural background. He has always drawn, but for economic reasons studied law and then decided experiencing the world was more important and spent five years working with refugees – in the Balkans.
Painter in oils, acrylics and even egg tempera (if I'm feeling really brave). I was brought up in a small village in Wales and went to school there, so I very much
have a rural background. I have always drawn, but for economic reasons I studied law but then decided experiencing the world was more important and I spent five years
working with refugees – in the Balkans; living for three years in northern Uganda, working with Sudanese refugees and a year in Algeria repatriating Touareg refugees
across the Sahara to Mali and Niger. I have since worked for almost 15 years with the UK Government, mainly in Belgium!
I began painting again ten years, ago, but over the last five years I have tried to build up my artist profile, notably by being elected to the juried Kaainem Art Circle and exhibiting in Belgium. In June 2019 I had a very rewarding month’s Residency in Finland (thank you Karsamaki) which enabled me to focus on my artwork and produce an artwork for the local community.
I started out painting portraits, but now my paintings explore the how people fit into the natural environment. I use the relationship with the environment to express feeling, loneliness, joy, the enormity of creation. I would like to express the need we have for the natural world when most people, especially urban dwellers, are divorced from their natural environment in their everyday life. My Ph.D. examined the causal factors, predominantly land management and climate change behind land degradation in a semi-arid area of South Africa. My MSc dissertation was on the environmental policy of the Vatican which examined whether the Catholic church could help people develop an ecological ethic to underpin the changes needed to make the world more sustainable.