Veronica Keith Artist


Artist Statement

Artist Statement on my helmet paintings

At the present time I am exploring historical helmets. As an object it can assist in identifying authority or individuals belonging to various factions. Designed to be ornate or simple, all helmets attempt to protect the user. When I paint the helmets I present them positioned showing the inside, displaying the crucial surroundings that offers protection to the brain. By not painting the exterior of the helmet, this removes the viewer's ability to readily identifying it. This ambiguity shifts the focus, opening the viewer's perception towards it. Taking away what is most easily recognizable about a helmet - in this case its' exterior form, allows for the viewer to approach the image without any preconceived notions. For example, If I were to paint a helmet on the wearers' head and it is clearly identifiable as a German officer, one might associate him with the Third Reich. In choosing to represent the helmets in this way, the viewer must ask; "What is it that I'm looking at?" "Is it a helmet?" "If so, who does it belong to and when?" "Can it be a UN helmet whose personnel unite under the mandate to foster peace?" 

Artist Statement on exploring colour


" I am concerned not only with how colour affect the eye, but also how the materials I use can affect the colour itself".

The personalities or traits of a colour can differ widely, depending on the means I used to apply the colour, whether it is an oil or an acrylic, if it's opaque or transparent. What there is beneath it comes through as well, such as if I used canvas or watercolour paper as a support. What colour I have chosen is of little importance but how I choose to use that colour becomes important. For example the colour Blue has become my initial source for this investigation. The way for the colour to be viewed varies as much as the techniques to apply it.

There are two paths I have taken, first; keeping it simple by confining it to vertical or horizontal lines. Second; applying it to something that has an existing symbolism such as the piece I entitled: Virgin, this iconic figure being the Virgin Mary, recognized by the blue veil, completely changes how one views the colour, now that a symbol of great emotional & spiritual power embodies it. How a colour is named or used, either way it evokes innumerable sources of how we read it.



Past Artist Statement 

       During the process of making my art whether it be a painting or sculpture, has no initial theme or subject. The hours of work put into creating a piece act as a filter. Throughout its development I begin to see its message, sifting through my own experiences with the piece itself, it gradually becomes clearer. In the end I am confronted with a piece that I had no prior knowledge of its purpose. Now completed I have formed a relationship with it and understand its significance. Each creation I make is different but there is a commonality between them that I always strive to obtain, which is to inspire people who view my works to open their minds and be encouraged to search through their own thoughts & experiences.


                                                                       Veronica Keith



I am an artist who was raised & still resides here in Orleans, Ottawa. In 2008 I graduated from a three year Diploma in Fine Arts at the Ottawa School of Art. In which my final year I received the Community Foundation of Ottawa Scholarship in recognition of artistic achievement. I have continued to work, exhibiting my artwork in my community in such local venues as the Shenkman Art Centre.


About my Toy Sculptures

Children’s toys allowed me an inexpensive, readily available source of materials. I used them as my primary medium in this series, building intuitive structures with toy soldiers & other dollar store toys that became an unequivocal statement about war.

The subject of war, as replicated through toys of war, was not apparent at first. None of the works I did began with a predetermined subject. The theme grew out of the process of working with the toys. Only when the pieces begin emitting this message did I, myself, begin to understand that this accumulation, this buildup could only be about war.

I found myself repeatedly massing the toys together, as if they were multiplying in one great hoard, one great army without end. Using the same toy over & over again, one that has been endlessly duplicated, it kept insisting that there is something greater than that represented, a toy. A cheap, plastic toy, yet I tried not to disrupt the surface of any of the toys because I wanted them to maintain their fundamental features. Applying vibrant colours to the massed forms added another level of meaning, I wanted to attract attention to both the individual toys & the constructions within which they are caught and held for the viewer. Attractive at a distance, attractive on the outside but a detailed view opens up another vision, tangled and relentless. Normally, I strive for a sense of ambiguity in my pieces; this enables the viewers to apply whatever meaning they want to the objects. To the sculptures I have created. In this case, the material itself directs the viewer, as it did me.

Version Française


Ce que dit l’artiste a propos de son exposition Playing with War

Les jouets d’enfants m’ont procure une matière bon marche et prête à utiliser. Je les ai employés comme matière première pour cette collection; j’ai crée des structures intuitives avec des soldats jouets et d’autres jouets provenant du magasin a un dollar qui sont devenues une expression sans équivoque de la guerre.

Le thème de la guerre tel que reproduit au moyen des jouets de guerre n’était pas apparent au début. Aucune des œuvres réalisées n’est le fruit d’un sujet prédétermine. Le theme a surgi pendant le processus de travail avec les jouets. Ce n’est que lorsque les morceaux ont commence à émettre ce message que j’ai moi-même compris que cet amoncellement, cette construction ne pouvait que représenter la guerre.

Je me suis vue masser à répétition les jouets, comme s’ils se multipliaient en une immense horde, une immense armée sans fin. En utilisant le même jouet encore et encore – un de ces jouets produits en grande quantité-, j’ai constate un résultat me démontrant avec insistance qu’il y avait la quelque chose de plus grand qu’un simple jouet. Je me suis efforcée de ne pas modifier la surface de ces jouets malgré le fait qu’ils étaient peu couteux et faits de matière plastique, car je voulais conserver leur caractère initial. L’application de couleurs vives à ces formes en masse a ajoute une autre dimension à leur signification. Je voulais attirer l’attention à la fois sur le jouet et sur l’ensemble dans lequel il était prisonnier et retenu pour l’observateur. L’ensemble est attirant a distance et attirant a l’extérieur, mais un examen approfondi permet de déceler une autre vision, enchevêtrée et implacable. Habituellement, je cherche à donner un sens d’ambigüité à mes œuvres pour permettre a celui qui les regarde de donner la signification qu’il désire a ces sculptures que j’ai créées. Dans le cas présent, la matière elle-même guide l’observateur, comme elle l’a fait pour moi.



Veronica Keith est une jeune artiste qui a grandi à Orléans et qui y demeure toujours. Récemment, elle a obtenu son diplôme en art après trios années d’études à l’École d’Art d’Ottawa. Au cours de sa dernière année de formation, elle a reçu la bourse d’études de la Fondation communautaire d’Ottawa en reconnaissance de ses réalisations artistiques.


















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