Keith Harrison was born in West Bromwich in the Black Country and from the age of 8 grew up in Birmingham. He didn’t intend or expect to be a ceramicist and in a bizarre set of circumstances was banned from the Ceramics room on the first day of his Art Foundation Course in Bournville. Whilst on the BA Industrial Design course at Cardiff he enjoyed the freedom and versatility of clay during one of the projects and later switched courses to Ceramics. Keith completed an MA in Ceramics and Glass at the RCA in 2002.

Since 2002 Keith has been involved in a series of process-based live public experiments that investigate the direct physical transformation of clay from a raw state utilising industrial and domestic electrical systems. The use of portable household appliances has enabled live firings to take place in alternative venues such as a living room, science laboratory, café and not-for-profit artist run spaces in Brighton and London. In addition, large-scale works have been realised for public galleries and Museums including the V&A, Jerwood Space, Camden Arts Centre and mima, Middlesbrough which take on the given space to produce site-specific time-based works.

The exploration of possibilities for a wider ranging sensory experience of the firing process other than heat began in 2007 with the work ‘20 Whittington Street’ at Camden Arts Centre. A living room carpet made from chapatti bread dough and spices heated underneath until the smell became unbearable for the audience in the gallery space. ‘Float’ commissioned for Jerwood Open Makers in 2011 was a large-scale culmination of a sequence of smaller scale works and experiments involving sound in conjunction with clay and electricity and included ‘Blue Monday/White Label’ (Landmark, Bergen, 2010), ‘Brother’ (mima, Middlesbrough, 2009) and ‘Grand’ (Permanent Gallery, Brighton, 2008).

Key Publications/Exhibitions/Performances:



Bustlehome: Napalm Death and Keith Harrison, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, 29 November 2013

April 2013 ‘Moon : a public demonstration’ Hochauser Auditorium, V and A Museum
November 2012 ‘Circulation’ V and A Museum
October 2012 ‘Lucie Rie vs Grindcore’ V and A Museum/RCA
October 2010 ‘Blue Monday/White Label’ Landmark, Bergen Kunsthall
November 2009 ‘Unfinished Business’ Gooden Gallery, Vyner St, London
January 2008 ‘Superfluid’ Permanent Gallery, Brighton
January 2007 ’20 Whittington Street’ Camden Arts Centre
September 2006 ‘Last Supper’ Raphael Gallery, V and A Museum
September 2006 ‘M25 London Orbital’ Sculpture galleries, V and A Museum
June 2002 ‘Rosemont’ Camden Arts Centre
June 2002 Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Devon (cat)


September 2013 ‘Endogenous II’ Maria Stenfors, London
September 2013 ‘Blanks in Between’ curated show by Workshop For Potential Design, LDF (cat)
May 2013 ‘Sound Matters’ Crafts Council Touring exhibition (cat + website)
July 2011 Jerwood Makers Open, Jerwood Space and touring (cat)
April 2010 ‘The Big Rip Off’ Camden Arts Centre
August 2009 ‘Testing Grounds’ Bargate Gallery, Southampton
May 2009 ‘Possibilities and Losses’ mima, Middlesbrough (book)
September 2008 ‘Collision 08′ Area 10 Project Space, London
November 2006 ‘Shibboleth’ Dilston Grove, London (cat)
September 2006 ‘Sensory Material’ Bonhams, London
May 2006 ‘Breakers’ PM Gallery, London
July 2005 ‘My Room’ Sophienholm, Copenhagen, Denmark (cat)
May 2005 ‘Platos Rotos’ Museo del Potro, Cordoba, Spain and touring (cat)
January 2003 Artlab, Imperial College, London
Oct 2002 ‘Unpacked’ Takumi Studio, Gifu, Japan (cat)
May 2002 ‘Sleepers’ Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro
April 2002 ‘Ceramic Contemporaries 4′ Royal College of Art and touring (cat)
May 2001 ‘Platform for Art’ Gloucester Rd Underground station, London


October 2012-March 2013 V and A Ceramics Residency.

November-December 2003 Gasworks/Arts Council International Artists Fellowship, Khoj, New Delhi


‘Blanks in Between’ Exhibition Catalogue with contribution by Corinna Gardner, September 2013
‘Sound Matters’ Touring Exhibition Catalogue, Crafts Council, May 2013, pages 18-21
‘Napalm Death V and A gig cancelled over gallery damage fear’ BBC News, March 20 2013
‘Music to Crack Pots By’ Times Leading Article, The Times, March 20 2013, page 2
‘Heavy Metal brings house down at V and A’ by Tom Whipple, The Times, March 20 2013, page 3
‘Napalm Death gig at V and A Museum cancelled amid fears building may collapse’ NME, March 20 2013
‘Napalm Death Gig Cancelled Over Museum Fears’ Sky News, March 20 2013
‘V and A forced to cancel metal gig over fears for historic building’ by Freddie Nathan, The Independent, March 19 2013 page 11
‘Art of Noise at the V and A’ by Josie Ensor, The Sunday Telegraph, March 17 2013 page 20
‘Napalm Death shatter more than eardrums at the V and A’ by Eddy Frankel, Time Out, March 11 2013
V and A Magazine, Winter 2012 ‘Creativity at Work’ by Eleanor Shakeshaft, page 21
The Art Museum, Phaidon, 2011. Page 415
Ceramic Review, Issue 252, November /December 2011 ‘Jerwood Makers Open’ Review by Simon Olding, page 24
Crafts, No 232, September/October 2011 ‘Big Art makes way for Science and Sound’ Review of Jerwood Makers Open by Glenn Adamson, pages 74-75
this is tomorrow, Jerwood Makers Open by Jessica Furseth, July 2011
Aesthetica Magazine, Inverting Preconceptions of Materials, Ideas and Craft: Jerwood Makers Open, JVA, London. Review by Kara Magid July 2011
‘Jerwood Makers Open’ Exhibition Catalogue, Jerwood Visual Arts, July 2011
‘Possibilities and Losses; transitions in clay’ edited by Clare Twomey, mima/Crafts Council, 2010
‘Contemporary Ceramics’ by Emmanuel Cooper, Thames and Hudson, 2009. Pages 230 – 231
Crafts, No 219, July/August 2009 ‘Possibilities and Losses at Mima’ by Teleri Lloyd-Jones pg72
The Guardian, Exhibition preview: Possibilities And Losses, Middlesbrough by Robert Clark
Saturday 23 May 2009, pg 38 of the Previews section
‘On the Lineage of Making’ In Conversation: Keith Harrison and Richard Wentworth, Jerwood Visual arts, June 2008 [...] versation-Keith-Harrison-and-Richard-Wentworth/292
Time Out No 1986 September 11 – 17 2008 pg 131
Ceramic Review, Issue 229 January/February 2008 ‘High Tension’ pg 42-45
‘Breaking the Mould; new approaches to ceramics’ ed Cigalle Hanaor, Black Dog Publishing, 2007. Pages 110-113
‘The Ceramics Design Course’ Anthony Quinn, Thames and Hudson, 2007. Page 132
Ceramic Review, Issue 223 January/February 2007 ‘Clay Rocks’ written by Jo Dahn
‘My Room and My Friends Room’ exhibition catalogue ed. by Mads Quistgaard ,Sophienholm, Denmark, 2005.
‘Platos Rotos’ exhibition catalogue, Museo del Potro, Cordoba , Spain. 2005
Ceramics in Society Issue 57 2004 ‘Ceramics of Substance’ written by Stephen Dixon.
Ceramic Review, Issue no.206 March/April 2004 ‘Think about it:conceptual ceramics’ written by Jo Dahn.
‘Clay Matters’ Martina Margetts, catalogue essay in Brennpunkt Bergen, Keramikk 1950 – 2000, West Norway Museum of Decorative Art, Bergen, 2003.
‘Singing the Body Electric: A Brief History of Electricity and Studio Ceramics’ Paper delivered by Jeffrey Jones ( UWI Cardiff) at the Design History Conference, 2002
‘Unpacked’, exhibition catalogue, RCA, 2002
Ceramic Review, Issue no.197 Sep/Oct 2002 ‘Sleepers’ exhibition review, written by Alun Graves.
‘Sleepers’, exhibition essay, written by Richard Slee; also published in Ceramics in Society, Issue No.48, Summer 2002.
[a-n] magazine, August 2002, ‘Material Substance’, written by Lucy Wilson.
Ceramics in Society, No.49 Autumn 2002, ‘The View from London’ written by Anatol Orient.
Art Review, April 2002, ‘Ceramic Contemporaries 4′, article written by Elizabeth Bard.
Ceramic Review, Issue no.193 Jan/Feb 2002; ‘Form and Content’, written by Anatol Orient.
Crafts, Issue 174 Nov/Dec 2001; ’21st Century Ceramics’, written by David Whiting.
Ceramic Contemporaries 4′, exhibition catalogue, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 2002.