Jonathan was born and grew up in South Africa, obtaining a BA (Hons) Fine Art degree from the University of Natal in 1979. In 1986 he moved to England and settled in Suffolk where he continued to live and have a studio at his home in Knodishall. In 2002 he received a MA from the Royal College of Art, where his postgraduate show was awarded the Lattice overall prize-winner award and subsequently was awarded a Woo Foundation Graduate Arts Bursary. He has exhibited and undertaken a number of artist residencies in the UK and abroad.
Jonathan's ceramics are recognisable for a strong sculptural quality with an emphasis on form. An opportunity ten years ago arose for him to investigate digital media highlighted for the possibilities of using computers to extend and explore our understanding of natural systems, patterns and codes. He has developed a working process whereby the shapes of his forms are written in computer code. This digital information is passed to a studio based self built 3D printer that Jonathan has adapted to print in clay. Layer by layer the pots are printed out – a sort of mechanical pottery coil building. After printing the ceramic is fired and glaze in the normal way. In the elemental forces of earth, fire and water ceramics have traditionally drawn on nature for inspiration, but in using computer code to create my works he has added a further layer to include the elemental mathematical patterns and structures that underlie all form.
Sound Surface (2012 - 2014) - Jonathan Keep (UK)
Four vases and four sounds: Bird call, Godwit; jazz music, Herbie Hancock, Watermelon Man; classical music, Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue; classical music, Bach, Goldberg Variations BWV 988. Each vase is first built virtually from the base up within digital 3D modelling software, adding the sound quality as a texture to the surface as the pot grows, produced by the volume and rhythm of a selected sound progressively spiralling up the form over the length of the sound clip. The resultant porcelain vase created from this virtual 3D shape is 3D printed directly in clay with a 3D printer that the artist has devised. Once printed the porcelain clay is fired and glazed in a traditional manner.