Keith Harrison


Personal statement

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).

MA Design: Ceramics

Academic qualifications

  • MA RCA

Exhibitions, installations, 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


Selected works, catalogues, citations

  • ‘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
  • 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.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Keith Harrison

Harrison, K (2017) Keith Harrison. In: RCA Arts & Humanities Talks, 15 November 2017, Royal College of Art, London, UK.

Interactive & performative ceramics in the public realm

Harrison, K (2017) Interactive & performative ceramics in the public realm. In: Ceramic Values: Can Ceramics make a difference? Ceramics and its Dimensions Congress, 5 -6 October 2017, Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, UK.

Keith Harrison: artist talk

Harrison, K (2016) Keith Harrison: artist talk. In: UWE/Art in the City Talks, 16 November 2016, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK.

Magz Hall and Keith Harrison in conversation with Helen Pheby

Hall, M, Harrison, K and Pheby, H (2016) Magz Hall and Keith Harrison in conversation with Helen Pheby. In: Jerwood Open Forest, 21 November 2016, Jerwood Space, London, UK.


Harrison, K (2016) Provocation. In: Museums, Artists, Audiences: New Expressions, 11 October 2016, The Horniman Museum, London, UK.

Keith Harrison - Mute

Harrison, K (2015) Keith Harrison - Mute. In: Reflecting on Fragile?, 30 September 2015, National Museum Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Secondary modernism

Harrison, K (2015) Secondary modernism. In: Making Futures IV: International Research Conference, 24-25 September 2015, Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth, UK.

Heavy Rock

Harrison, K (2015) Heavy Rock. In: Creative Risk Taking: Commissioning One-Off, Outdoor Public Events, 22 July 2015, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and Karst, Plymouth, UK.

Artist talk: Keith Harrison

Harrison, K (2015) Artist talk: Keith Harrison. In: Plymouth History Festival, 12 May 2015, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth, UK.

Keith Harrison: Tombstone (lets get over this)

Harrison, K (2015) Keith Harrison: Tombstone (lets get over this). In: CADRE lecture series 2014/5, 16 February 2015, University of Wolverhampton, UK.

Artist talk with Keith Harrison

Harrison, K (2014) Artist talk with Keith Harrison. In: Visual Arts Visiting Artist Lecture Series, 28 October 2014, Camosun College, Victoria, Canada.

On subversive ceramics: Keith Harrison in conversation

Harrison, K (2014) On subversive ceramics: Keith Harrison in conversation. In: Futurkammer, 7 - 15 June 2014, The Holburne Museum, Bath.

Bustleholme: site and sound

Harrison, K (2014) Bustleholme: site and sound. In: SITE: Situating Ceramics Colloquium (CARCuos), 9 May 2015, Ceramic Arts Research Centre, University of Sunderland, UK.

Keith Harrison: secondary modernism and disruption

Harrison, K (2014) Keith Harrison: secondary modernism and disruption. In: Sheridan Ceramics Presents..., 13 March 2014, Sheridan College, Ontario, Canada.

A morning with Keith Harrison

Harrison, K (2014) A morning with Keith Harrison. In: CAA (Cranbrook Academy of Art) Lecture, 10 March 2014, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, USA.

Keith Harrison: artist presentation

Harrison, K (2014) Keith Harrison: artist presentation. In: Intervention: Artists Working in Museum and Heritage Settings, 29 January 2014, M Shed, Bristol, UK.

Moon: a public demonstration

Harrison, K (2013) Moon: a public demonstration.

Knowledge is power: 6 towns

Harrison, K (2017) Knowledge is power: 6 towns. In: British Ceramics Biennial, Stoke-on-Trent Central Library, Stoke-on-Trent, UK, September - November 2017.


Harrison, K (2016) Joyride. In: Jerwood Open Forest, Jerwood Space, London, UK, 2 November - 11 December 2016.

The Greater Taipei Biennial of Contemporary Arts: Dé-coïncidence [group exhibition]

Harrison, K (2016) The Greater Taipei Biennial of Contemporary Arts: Dé-coïncidence [group exhibition]. National Taiwan University of Art, New Taipei, Taiwan, 7 November 2016 - 14 January 2017.

Heavy Rock | Mould

Harrison, K (2016) Heavy Rock | Mould. In: Material Language: New Work in Clay, New Art Centre, Salisbury, UK, 14 May - 24 July 2016.

Tombstone (let’s get over this)

Harrison, K (2015) Tombstone (let’s get over this). In: Acts of Making, touring exhibition/festival, February - September 2015.

Moon: a public demonstration

Harrison, K (2015) Moon: a public demonstration. In: Super Woofer, Matt's Gallery, London, 1 August 2015.

Heavy rock | Plymouth Sound

Harrison, K and Gregory, W (2015) Heavy rock | Plymouth Sound. Plymouth, UK, 22 June - 22 July 2015.


Harrison, K (2015) Mute. In: Fragile?, National Museum, Cardiff, 18 April-4 October 2015.

Lucie Rie vs grindcore [2012]

Harrison, K (2013) Lucie Rie vs grindcore [2012]. In: Conversations with Lucie Rie, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 17 October 2013 - 9 March 2014.

Lucie Rie vs grindcore [2012]

Harrison, K (2013) Lucie Rie vs grindcore [2012]. In: Sound Matters: Exploring Sound Through Forms, touring exhibition, 1 June 2013 - 24 May 2014. ISBN 9781903713372

Blanks in between

Harrison, K (2013) Blanks in between. In: London Design Festival, Paper Tiger, London, 14 - 22 September 2013.

Disruption Series: installations and performances as Ceramics Resident at the V&A

Harrison, K (2012) Disruption Series: installations and performances as Ceramics Resident at the V&A. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, October 2012 - March 2013.

Jerwood Makers Open: Farah Bandookwala, Emmanuel Boos, Heike Brachlow, Keith Harrison

Bandookwala, F, Boos, E, Brachlow, H and Harrison, K (2011) Jerwood Makers Open: Farah Bandookwala, Emmanuel Boos, Heike Brachlow, Keith Harrison. In: Jerwood Makers Open, JVA at Jerwood Space, 13 July - 28 August 2011.

Float: a clay sound system

Harrison, K (2011) Float: a clay sound system. In: Jerwood Makers Open and tour, Jerwood Space, London, UK, 13 July - 28 August 2011.

Possibilities and losses: transitions in clay

Harrison, K (2009) Possibilities and losses: transitions in clay. Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), 22 May 2009 - 16 August 2009. ISBN 9781903713204


Harrison, K (2009) Brother. In: Possibilities and Losses: Transitions in Clay, group exhibition with Clare Twomey (curator), Linda Sormin, Neil Brownsword, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, 22 May - 16 August 2009.


Harrison, K (2008) Superfluid. Brighton, 2 February - 2 March 2008.

Sensory material

Harrison, K (2006) Sensory material. Bonhams Auctioneers, London, September 2006.


Harrison, K and Robinson, N (2006) Shibboleth. Dilston Grove, 17 November - 9 December 2006. ISBN 9780955637001

Platosrotos - 6 UK and Spanish Artists

Harrison, K (2005) Platosrotos - 6 UK and Spanish Artists. Posada del Potro, Cordoba, Spain.

Ceramic contemporaries 4

Harrison, K, Gibson, J and Lees, N (2002) Ceramic contemporaries 4. Royal College of Art, London; Harley Gallery; Wrexham Art Gallery; Collins Gallery; Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 2002 - 2003. ISBN 0952749025

Joyride: a Jerwood Open Forest Commission

Harrison, K (2017) Joyride: a Jerwood Open Forest Commission. Cannock Chase Forest, Cannock, UK, 30 September 2017.

Bustleholme: a performance with Keith Harrison and Napalm Death

Harrison, K (2013) Bustleholme: a performance with Keith Harrison and Napalm Death. De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, 29 November 2013.

Blue Monday/white Label

Harrison, K (2010) Blue Monday/white Label. Bergen Kunsthall, 19 October 2010.

Glittering Ground

Harrison, K (2007) Glittering Ground. "20 Whittington Street" Commission for Glittering Ground, Camden Arts Centre..

Last Supper' and 'M25 London Orbital' Invited Commissions

Harrison, K (2006) Last Supper' and 'M25 London Orbital' Invited Commissions. Victoria and Albert Museum, London..

Gasworks/Arts Council International Artists Fellowship

Harrison, K (2003) Gasworks/Arts Council International Artists Fellowship. KHOJ International Artists' AssociationS-17, Khirkee Extension,New Delhi - 110017 India.

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