Keith Bayliss is a visual artist, born and based in Swansea, South Wales. For over a decade he worked in a psychiatric hospital, followed by a role as Community Arts Officer based at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery & Museum. Since 1991, as a freelance artist and arts educator, he has taught at all levels from primary school to adult learner. Throughout this time he has continued to make art, collaborate widely with poets and writers, while regularly exhibiting, facilitating and curating projects in Wales and Europe.
Keith Bayliss’ work is figurative and expressive – his motif, the human figure in the landscape. He works in a variety of mediums: pencil and ink on paper, oil on canvas, relief printing and more recently, small mixed media sculptural constructions.
In his painting he often works on a large scale, with figures almost life size. They inhabit a simple setting; the curve of a hill or a moon occasionally appear but are frequently inhabiting undefined or unrecognisable places. His protagonists are single or in pairs, sometimes interacting, sometimes moving in opposite directions with a bird or animal as companion in this private, intimate, interplay within space.
His work is allegorical, influenced by myths, folklore and biblical tales. Alongside his illustrations for many books and poems, he has made images that reference the Annunciation, Hortus Conclusus, Susanna and the Elders, his paintings often populated with angels and pink skinned cherubs.
For his 2018 site responsive exhibition at MoMA in Machynlleth, he used the title of a Goya etching from the Disasters of War series: Yo lo fi ( I saw this). Using the poetry of Lorca and the imagery of Goya as a starting point, it is a personal visual response to influences and situations that are currently at play in his life/the world. His work will often incorporate a sound element produced by the artist’s son the musician Joe Bayliss, now on their third collaboration.
Keith resists giving explanations for the he produces. For him the work in itself develops over time:
“I start with an idea but as time passes, the work dictates how, when and if, it has reached a conclusion. It is a dialogue between myself and the developing visual image. I am just the facilitator. The work ‘re-makes’ itself with each new visitor it encounters and the story changes. You the observer complete the work.”
Forthcoming in 2022:
March David Greenslade & Supreme Collaborators, Volcano Gallery Swansea
April Sketchbooks, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Cwmbran (group show)
May The Coming of Age, Fringe Art Bath Festival (group show)
November Serious Games, Gallery 115, Ottawa University (group show)
2021 The New Domestic, (R&J group show)
2021 Colour Theory: Blue & Red (R&J group show)
2019 Yo Lo Fi/Fe Welais I (I saw this) MOMA, Machynlleth
2019 Wandering Soul Red House, Merthyr (with poetry by David Thomas)
2016 Swsana and The Elders & Shrine Oriel Q, Narberth
2012 Hortus Conclusus / The Enclosed Garden Mission Gallery, Swansea
2010 Wandering Soul Oriel Canfas Gallery, Cardiff (with poetry by David Thomas)
2005 as if by magic…’ Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea.
1985 Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
Recent Work Oriel Henry Thomas, Dyfed College of Art, Carmarthen Swansea Arts Workshop Gallery (now Mission Gallery)
1984 Swansea Arts Workshop Gallery
Group & Touring Exhibitions
2019 Venus Keith Bayliss, Roger Moss, William Brown, Llantarnam Grange, Cwmbran
2019 A Celebration of Contemporary Welsh Painting, Red House, Merthyr
2018 Venus Keith Bayliss, Roger Moss, William Brown, Oriel Q, Narberth
2014 2nd International Printmaking Triennial Belgrade, Serbia.
2011 1st International Printmaking Triennial Belgrade, Serbia.
2010-11 Art for Children. Y Tabernacl, MoMA Machynlleth. Curator Peter Wakelin
2010 Caves Oriel Canfas, Cardiff
2008-9 Mapping the Welsh Group at 60,
Touring Exhibition: National Library of Wales,Aberystwyth, Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy & Newport Museum & Art Gallery, Newport
2009 The Meaningful Mark: An exploration of Drawing by Joseph Herman and Contemporary Welsh Artists Rhondda Heritage Park Gallery, Wales. Organised by The Josef Herman Foundation.
2009 Keith Bayliss, Peter Jonckheere, Petr Jochmann Caesar Gallery, Czech Republic
2007 Drawn Together P ontardawe Arts Centre, Wales. Toured Belgium & Czech Rep. 2006 La Maison Hantee / Ty Screch /The Haunted House Keith Bayliss, William Brown, Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea
2006 Orbis Pictus: Europa European Group VOJNA Memorial Pribram, Czech Rep.
2006 Islands Oriel Canvas Gallery, Cardiff.
2006 Animal, Vegetable, Mineral Rhondda Heritage Park Dreaming Awake exhibition tour of the Czech Republic
2001 Five Artists from Wales, Brugge, Belgium.
2001-02 Dreaming Awake Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Cwmbran
1998 9: FAUST Touring Exhibition, Germany.
1998 La Bise Touring Exhibition
1996 Voyages: Works on Paper Prague, Czech Republic
1996 Boxes, Old Library Gallery, Cardiff. Touring Exhibition
1995-6 Intimate Portraits: Contemporary Artists in Wales Glynn Vivian and Mostyn
1995 The Visual Word: U.K. Festival of Literature. Swansea Arts Workshop Gallery & Old Library, Cardiff
1995 Contemporary Printmaking in Wales. Tour: London, Belgium, Libramont Expo.
2017 Mission is 40, Mission Gallery exhibition (co-curator with Amanda Roderick)
2008-14 St Davids Cathedral Festival, St Davids, Exhibition Programme Co-ordinator
2009 Tony Goble Passionate Pilgrim Festival exhibition MOMA, Machynlleth.
2008 Tony Goble Passionate Pilgrim Swansea Festival, Ceri Richards Gallery
2008 William Brown St David’s Hall Cardiff (co-curator with Ruth Cayford, Carys Brown)
2004 Lubomir Pesek & Ivan Bukovsky (poetry by Josef Janda) Dylan Thomas Centre
2004 Michal Macku, Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea. (co-curator with Bernard Mitchell)
2004 Petr Jochmann Moravian cultural programme in association with Caesar Gallery, Olomouc, Czech Republic.(co-curator with David Woolley)
1998 The Festival of Czech & Slovak Surrealism Glynn Vivian, Mission Gallery & Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea
1996 I in my intricate image – Words and Images from the Jeff Towns collection, Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea.
1995-96 Intimate Portraits Touring Exhibition Glynn Vivian Swansea & Mostyn Llandudno
1995 The Visual Word Wales, UK & Europe artists & writers Mission Gallery,Swansea & the Old Library, Cardiff
1995 Poem in October: UK Festival of Literature, Peter Joncheere, Hans Eneman, Marc Braat, (Brugge, Belgium) Dylan Thomas, Swansea
1995 Me, Myself, I, Awareness Through The Arts exhibition & book launch Swansea Arts Workshop.
1993 Image & Word The Five Schools Project exhibition and book launch. SAWG
2014 Lyrical One: Dylan Thomas 100 Mission Gallery one day performance/residency
2013 The Journey Print residency at The National Waterfront Museum, Swansea
2008 Festival Artist St Davids Cathedral Festival, site specific installation
Education & Community Projects
Developed the Community Arts Service for the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea.
As Keith Bayliss Arts Services has undertaken school, gallery, community based workshops, residencies, festivals and projects.
Facilitated schools based artist residencies and workshops for Oriel Myrddin, Carmarthen. Devised and facilitated the two Ceri Richards Festival programmes.
Worked with all areas of education, the elderly, special needs and those with disability.
Created and facilitated educational projects, including Image & Word The Five Schools Project, exhibition and publication as part of The European Arts Festival and Me. Myself, I, Awareness Through the Arts exhibition and publication, funded through West Glamorgan Drugs Prevention Team.
From 1993-99 jointly organised with teacher Sally Truman, Gwyrosydd Biennial Arts: A school and community project. Initially funded and final publication by The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Both exhibiting artist at St Davids Festival of Music and the Arts, and the Festival’s visual arts exhibition organiser from 2008-14, which included the artists, Claire Curneen, Tony Goble, Rozanne Hawksley, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Iwan Bala, Sally Moore and Roger Moss.
Assisted with the initiation of the Criw Celf West programme with Amanda Roderick and Mission Gallery from 2012-18 and has led numerous Criw Celf workshops in Mid & South West Wales.
Has work in both private and public collections.
Articles & Essays
2012 The Green of Keith Bayliss, David Greenslade,
2012 Space as Sanctuary, Ceri Thomas, Planet Magazine (ISSN 0048-4288)
2010 Taking our imagination for a walk Leading Matters, NAHT Magazine.
2011 Keith Bayliss and The Hortus Conclusus, Clive Hicks Jenkins
BARN Welsh language cultural magazine on the work of Josef Herman, Fred Janes, John Piper and the Dreaming Awake exhibition.
Written articles for Scholastic Publications, Art & Craft Magazine on numerous projects and workshops in Primary education.
The Welsh Group at 60 Ceri Thomas Published by The Welsh Group 2008 (ISBN 978-0-9560867-0-9)
The Welsh Group at 70 David Moore Published by The Welsh Group 2018 (ISBN 978-0-9560867-3-0)
Pieces of a Jigsaw.- Portraits of Artists and Writers of Wales . Photographs by Bernard Mitchell Published by Parthian Books ISBN 978-1-910901-97-7
The Old Stile Press……the next ten years. Published by the Old Stile Press. ISBN 978-0-907664-85-7
Book Cover Commissions
Congratulate the Devil Cover Artwork (Howell Davies, Parthian Press, Library of Wales, 2008) Weak Eros Cover Artwork (D avid Greenslade, Parthian Press : Library of Wales, 2002)
Serious Games Cover Artwork (Malcolm Parr, Swansea Poetry Workshop, 1992)
Written on our Hands cover Artwork (David Woolley, Headland, 2006)
Zeus Amoeba Cover Artwork (David Greenslade, Two Rivers Press, 2009 )
Boards & Steering Committees
2015-17 NAWR Arts Education Network Mid & West Wales
2011-18 The Jane Phillips Award (Chairman)
1992-2018 Mission Gallery Board (as Chair, Vice Chair, Company Secretary, Chair of Friends)
Former member of The Welsh Group