Keith Bayliss is a visual artist based in Swansea. 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. 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.
“The present situation has not altered the making of art for me. It has sharpened its focus.”
R&J: What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am producing drawings. Drawing is nearly always my starting point and in this case, ink on paper. One morning, in drawing a small female figure the name Proserpina came to mind. Proserpina or Persephone was a goddess, daughter of Demeter. She is forced to spend half of the year in the Underworld, giving us Autumn and Winter and half of the year on Earth giving us Spring and Summer. She is a goddess of Life, living half the year in a place of sadness. But my Proserpina spends her time giving comfort to the Souls in that dark place. How this figure became Proserpina is a mystery to me, but really she is a continuation of subject matter I have been working on for years. So many times I realise after the event where I am going!
Are you an artist who prefers solitude or togetherness to thrive? Or do you need a balance of both? (Have events over the past year and ongoing situa