Simon Mckeown is an award winning international artist and is renowned for his work which touches on and considers disability. He exhibits internationally and his work has been shown as far afield as the Smithsonian International Gallery in the USA, The DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, Czech Republic, GAK in Kosovo along with galleries in Australia, Norway, America, South America, the United Kingdom and most lately at the Duetches Hygiene Museum in Dresden, Germany.
He is currently working in Ireland on a new project entitled ‘Cork Ignite’ which is an international commission, conceived during 2013 and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Cork City Council with partners National Sculpture Factory and Create Ireland. It represents a culmination of many of his research interests and features inflatable sculptures, large scale complex outdoor projection, theatrical work with many volunteers, soundscapes, water and collaboration with disabled artists. It is the premiere event for Culture Night Cork and it will play out on the 19th of September 2014 to an audience of around 10,000 and will potentially tour thereafter.
Motion Disabled: Unlimited, a London 2012 Festival project, has been shown nationally including at the South Bank Centre in London, Olympic Torch and Paralympic Torch events across the UK, as well as in galleries such as 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in North Lincolnshire and MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute for Modern Art.
As a result of Motion Disabled: Unlimited's huge success it is still touring at various indoor and outdoor locations globally, its most recent exhibition is at DOX, Prague which includes both the digital installation and a huge 10m tall inflatable.
Motion Disabled: Unlimited at DOX, Prague 2013
Mckeown was also the Visual Artist responsible for the large scale outdoor video projections on the ‘Prometheus Awakes‘ production which also involved London’s Graeae Theatre and the international outdoor theatre company La Fura dels Baus from Barcelona and which was shown at two international festivals, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival as part of the UK’s Cultural Olympiad which supported the overall Olympics Program
Prior to that he launched Motion Disabled: Faces at The Public in West Bromwich in 2013.
His earlier work Motion Disabled – has been shown internationally including the USA at the Smithsonian International Gallery. Simon’s work reflects his interest, knowledge and experience of Disability and in particular our view of ‘normality’ and ‘difference’. He was named DaDaFest International Artist of Year 2010-2011 with the award presented on the closing day of the festival at the Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool – England. Additional work for Motion Disabld was commisioned for the festival featuring performer Claire Cunningham which was then projected in both Liverpool and Glasgow as well as in over 20 other locations internationally.
During 2012 he has developed new material for several festivals, including M21 in Shropshire,Greenwich and Docklands International Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival on the international production, Prometheus Awakes.
Prometheus Awakes, Greenwich 2012
Previous commissions include an 7 minute animation entitled ‘All for Claire’ which was completed for the festival and show nationally across the BBC City Centre Screens during November and December 2010. This short animation was recently awarded Best Experimental Film at Deaffest 2011.
He has over 20 years experience having worked commercially completing animation and special effects for film and television as well as working with computer games giant Atari.
Simon was featured on the BBC World Service arts program ‘The Strand', and has had work featured on the BBC Two Culture Show.
He lives in North Yorkshire in the UK and works internationally. He is also a Reader in Post Production at Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK. As an academic he presents at conferences and publishes papers.
Mckeown is deafened and has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bones) and has had around 140 breaks in his life time.