Adam Keay

Adam Keay


Cardiff Met helped geologist Adam uncover artistic flair

When Adam Keay applied to study his Masters degree, he was drawn to the vibrant culture at the Cardiff School of Art and Design.

Adam spent nine weeks studying rocks on the Isle of Skye as part of his undergraduate degree, which sparked an interest in the aesthetic appeal of landscapes as well as their geology.

He said: "I'd always loved art, and I wanted to combine that with this passion for landscapes. I started thinking about geological images and the patterns produced by microstructures of rocks, and using technical field sketches to create landscape art.

"The Art and Science pathway of MA Art and Design seemed like the ideal way for me as a trained geologist to enter the creative world."

Looking for a university course which would allow him to fuse art and science, Adam chose Cardiff Metropolitan because of its lively atmosphere and sense of community.

Adam said: "Compared to other institutions, Cardiff Met is so much more colourful, and the School of Art and Design has such excellent facilities.

"The compact, friendly nature of the city extends to the university, so that it has a wonderful busy-ness and immediately felt like somewhere I could thrive creatively."

The MA Art & Design programme at Cardiff Met contains a number of specialist pathways, including Ecologies, Philosophy and Fine Art.

Adam joined the Art & Science course in 2012 and spent a year studying full-time for his Masters, completing creative assignments like producing an exhibition of new artwork as well as academic projects such as a dissertation.

He worked in a range of media, using acrylic paints on roofing felt and various printing and collaging techniques to recreate the forms, shapes and lines of sedimentary rock structures.

Not coming from an arts background, Adam initially struggled to establish direction in his creative work and adapt his essay-writing from a scientific style.

He said: "My tutor Professor Clive Cazeaux was a great help in keeping me on track; the world of art presents so many potential themes that I lost focus at times.

"Discussions with Clive always reminded me of my original goal, and with his support I've achieved my ambition of creating artwork from geological images.

"I'm also really grateful for the support of the library staff in showing me how art journals work, compared to the science papers I was used to, and helping me to locate essential texts."

Some of Adam's personal highlights of the MA course were field trips by Professor David Ferry to the Burren School of Art & Design in County Clare, Ireland, and the Sydney Nolan Trust in Powys.

Adam said: "County Clare is absolutely stunning, limestone plateaus dropping down into the wild Atlantic Ocean… It was the perfect setting for someone like me, with an interest in art, landscape and geology.

"We also went mono-printing in mid-Wales, which was a lovely experience in an equally beautiful place – Clawdd Offa, mountains, castles, lush countryside and uncanny gargoyles hidden in shrines!"

Adam was also a volunteer at the Engage Conference 2012, helping bring people together to discuss issues on the theme of 'Landing Place: the local in the international' and working to strengthen the art sector.

Under the spotlight:
2004 A Levels in Art & Design, English Literature, French and Geography
2007 BSc Geology and Physical Geography at University of Liverpool
2012 MA Art & Design (Art & Science) at Cardiff Met

Find out more about MA Art & Design at the Cardiff School of Art & Design.