School of Computing, Media & the Arts
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Simon McKeown

Reader in Post Production and Animation

Simon McKeown

About Simon McKeown

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 including, large scale complex outdoor projection, theatrical works, soundscapes, water and collaboration with disabled artists. It will be a premiere Cork event and it will play out on to an audience of around 5,000 to 10,000 and will potentially tour thereafter.

His latest work is entitled 'Ghosts' and was produced for Arts Admin / Xenoki Production for Channel4 / 4OD. The work is a commemoration of WW1 - Please click here for more detail.  The work is also featured on the 14-18 Now WW1 Centenary Commissions website. Ghosts can be seen on 4OD as well as at the Unlimited Festival at the London South Bank Centre in September this year.

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 Contemporary Art Centre in, Prague which included both the digital installation and a huge 10m tall inflatable.

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.  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 Disabled was commissioned 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 including the United Nations in New York, on December the 3rd, in support of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a UN sponsored day in collaboration with the Washington based VSA, the international organisation on arts and disabilities which was set up by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, sister of USA President John F Kennedy.

During 2012 he developed new outdoor projection material for several festivals, including the Cultural Olympiad festival M21 based in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, home of the modern Olympics as well as for Greenwich and Docklands International Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival on the international production, Prometheus Awakes.

Other commissions include a 7 minute animation entitled ‘All for Claire’ which was completed for the DadaFest 2010 and show nationally across the BBC City Centre Screens during November and December that year. 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 for the BBC and ITV and many other networks and agencies as well as working with computer games giant Atari on hugely successful computer games including the triple AAA series 'Driver'.

Simon was featured on the BBC World Service arts program ‘The Strand', and has had work featured on the BBC Two Culture Show, as well as the Times Newspaper Culture Section, the BBC arts website The Space/Push Me and in many other media.  In 2014 he was listed as the influential Disability News Service's 'The List'.

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 with his most recent paper featuring a collaboration between himself and Dr. Paul Darke on the USA comedy animation 'Family Guy' which features as a chapter in the book 'Different Bodies: Essays on Disability in Film and Television', edited by Marja Evelyn Mogk, Associate Professor of English at California Lutheran University.

Mckeown is deafened and has Osteogenesis Imperfecta  (Brittle Bones) and has had around 140 breaks in his life time. 
 

In the news

  • BBC Radio York
    BBC Radio York, 12/09/2016
    Simon McKewon talks about his car collection


  • Latest disability car may have been used by former Prime Minister
    Love Middlesbrough (web) 06.09.16:North East Connected(Web) 06.09.16:BBC Radio Tees 07.09.16; Noodis, 09/09/2016
    Simon Mckeown, a Reader and Principle Lecturer in the School of Design, Culture and the Arts at Teesside University, now owns over a dozen of the iconic cars, which date from the 1930's to the 1970's


  • Lost loved ones could be reborn digitally
    Czech Radio, 21/01/2016
    Simon McKeown talks about his Preserved Memories exhibition which is on display at the Dox Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague.


  • Preserving a digital family for the future
    Czech Television, 19/01/2016
    Simon McKeown talks about his Preserved Memories exhibition which is on display at the Dox Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague.


  • Lost loved ones could be reborn digitally
    Daily Telegraph, p.14, 27/10/2015, Daily Telegraph, online, 27/10/2015, Mail Online, 27/10/25, World News Daily, online, 28/10/2015, City AM, online, 28/10/2015, Times of India, online, 28/10/2015, The Statesman, online, 02/11/2015
    Artist Simon McKeown's latest exhibition shows how in the future you will be able to bring deceased family members back to ‘virtual’ life through digital technology and social media activity.


  • Thanks to social media histories, we can haunt loved ones virtually in the afterlife
    Fox News Online, 29/10/2015, TechSum, online, 30/10/2015, Yahoo Finance, online, 29/10/2015
    Simon McKeown of Teesside University says that within 50 years, computers will be so advanced, they will be able to create avatars of dead relatives.


  • Computer Developments at Teesside University
    BBC Radio Cornwall, 27/10/2015; One News Page, 28/10/2015; NewsR.in, 28/10/2015
    Preserved memories and the development of computers in 50 years time.


  • Culture Night sees the College of Commerce come to life with 3D projections
    Irish TV, 06/10/2015
    A feature on Simon McKeown's Cork Ignite project which was part of Culture Night.


  • International artist Simon McKeown lights up Culture Night
    Disability Arts Online, 30/09/2015
    Up to 10,000 people gathered to see a historic riverside building brought to life with a stunning digital projection by Teesside University’s Simon McKeown.


  • City of lights on Culture Night
    Evening Echo, P.1, 19/09/2015
    Simon McKeown put on a spectacular show for Cork Ignight.


  • Culture Night draws big crowds nationwide
    The Irish Times, 19/09/2015, Irish Examiner, 22/09/2015
    Cork Ignite, by Teesside University's Simon McKeown, attracted thousands of people.


  • Trip the light fantastic
    Irish Examiner, 14/09/2015, Evening Echo, p.18, 14/09/2015
    Simon McKeown's huge animation project will be one of the highlights of Culture Night.


  • Blast from the past
    Access Magazine, August 2015
    Simon McKeown tells us about his efforts at preserving a chapter of British disability history that many have long forgotten.


  • Artist Simon Mckeown brings 3D mapping art to Cork Culture Night
    Irish Examiner, online, 2/09/2015, The Irish Times, online, 2/09/2015, Disability Arts Online, 2/09/2015
    International artist Simon McKeown will use his expertise in technology to present a live art commission during a major outdoor cultural event in Ireland.


  • TV - Iconic cars used to show the history of disability
    ITV News London, 13/07/2015
    Simon McKeown is a lecturer at Teesside University and an artist he's exhibited works about disability all over the world.


  • Simon McKeown - show guest
    BBC Radio Tees, John Foster, 16/09/2013
    Simon McKeown a Reader in Post Production and Animation, School of Computing at Teesside University talks about his time growing up on Teesside and his career.


  • Disabled artist's national honour
    Evening Gazette (Teesside), 06/09/2013
    An artist from Teesside University is taking his world-renowned exhibition which featured as part of last year's Paralympics to the Liberty Festival in London.


  • Artist joins celebration
    Northern Echo (North Edition), 02/09/2013,
    Simon McKeown, a Teesside University lecturer, will be taking his 3D exhibition, which explores motion to the Liberty Festival in London. The exhibition also featured at last year's London Paralympics


  • Disabled academic's artwork shown at Paralympic festival
    Northern Echo (Web), 01/09/2013; Darlington & Stockton Times (Web), 01/09/2013
    Simon McKeown, who is also disabled, is an academic in post-production and animation at the University of Teesside. He was born with osteogenesis imperfect, a condition causing extremely fragile bones


  • Brit follows the movement of the handicapped
    aktualne.cz (Web), 21/6/2013
    Simon McKeown is featured.


  • Disabled artist Simon puts work on show in Prague
    Darlington & Stockton Times (County Durham), 31/05/2013, p.38; Darlington & Stockton Times (Cleveland), 31/05/2013, p.38
    A North Yorkshire artist who is disabled has an exhibition of his work on show in Prague. Simon McKeown, a Teesside University lecturer, has broken his own bones more than 100 times because of his con


  • Disabled artist Simon puts work on show in Prague
    Darlington & Stockton Times (Ripon & Richmond), 31/05/2013, p.38
    A North Yorkshire artist who is disabled has an exhibition of his work on show in Prague. Simon McKeown, a Teesside University lecturer, has broken his own bones more than 100 times because of his con


  • Artist goes on tour
    Evening Gazette, 25/05/2013, p.12
    A Teesside University lecturer and artist is taking his world renowned exhibition, which featured as part of the Paralympics, on tour to the Czech Republic. Simon McKeown, a reader in post-production


  • Simon McKeown interview on brittle bone disease
    BBC World Service (Radio), 22/05/2013, BBC Radio Tees, Mike Parr, 22/05/2013, 10:50:14
    Simon McKeown of Teesside University comments.


  • Artist's world acclaimed exhibition on disability goes abroad
    Darlington & Stockton Times (Web), 19/05/2013; Northern Echo (Web), 19/05/2013
    Simon McKeown, who is also a Teesside University lecturer and has broken his own bones more than 100 times as part of his own disability, had his exhibition featured as part of last year’s London Para


  • Exhibition will tackle taboo on disability
    Northern Echo (North Edition), 20/05/2013, p.37
    Simon McKeown, who is a Teesside University lecturer and suffers from a condition that has led to him breaking more than 100 bones, saw his exhibition featured as part of last year's London Paralympic


  • Teesside University coverage
    thespace.org (Web)
    Size is important, reflects Simon McKeown, as he watches his 10.5 metre figure of a thalidomide affected kick boxer inflate for the first time.


  • The McKeown Effect
    Disability Now, 01/10/2012, p.52
    Now a reader in the School of Computing at Teesside University, McKeown continues to practise his art using cutting edge techniques. As part of the recent Unlimited Festival which lent a cultural and


  • Teesside University coverage
    BBC WS, The Strand, 30/08/2012, 15:31:02
    Artist Simon McKeown talks about an art installation which has been inpired by paralympic athletes, focusing on the movements made by their bodies.


  • It's a show-filled summer at mima
    Evening Gazette, 20/07/2012, p.2
    Simon uses advanced motion capture technology to record in perfect detail the beautiful intricacies of a different body's movements. Simon is reader in post production and animation at Teesside Univer


  • Teesside lecturer breaks the last taboos of disability
    North Lincolnshire Online (Web), 10/07/2012
    Simon Mckeown is an artist and researcher at Teeside University. For his Motion Disabled project he has been working with leading experts in CGI imagery to map the movements of a series of subjects wi


  • Artist highlights paralympian sporting achievements
    Darlington & Stockton Times, 22/06/2012, p.4
    An exhibition by a disabled Teesside University artist will be shown at the university's Darlington campus this month. The digital installation, created by computer expert Simon McKeown, uses motion-c


  • Bodies in motion to break taboos
    Sunday Sun, 17/06/2012, p.20
    A world-renowned artist from the North is hoping to break taboos around disability as part of his contribution to the Olympic Games. Simon McKeown, who is himself disabled, is putting together a digit


  • Animation stars disabled athletes
    BBC (Web), 16/06/2012
    Motion Disabled Unlimited gives people the chance to see what it is like to walk and jump without legs or sail with one arm. In the animation, viewers can watch a series of motion captures featuring p


  • Why we should all take a long, hard look at Paralympians
    The Times, 02/06/2012, p.12; The Times Online, 02/06/2012, p.1
    Disabled athlete Simon McKeown, a reader in post-production and animation at Teesside University, calls for more appreciation of Paralympic athletes.


  • Teesside University Very able bodies
    The Times Higher Education Supplement, 14/06/2012, p.14
    An academic has created an animation installation to show the public how disabled athletes move. Simon McKeown, who has brittle bone disease, teaches 3D animation and post-production in Teesside Unive


  • Disabled athletes... in animation
    Northern Echo, 15/06/2012, p.11
    An exhibition by a disabled Teesside University artist is to be shown at the university's Darlington campus. The digital installation created by computer expert, Simon McKeown, uses animation to show


  • Breaking taboos on disabled athletes
    Northern Echo, 09/06/2012, p.68
    Disabled artist Simon McKeown hopes to break the last taboos about disability as part of his contribution to the 2012 Olympic Games. The computer expert, from Teesside University, is creating a digita


  • Why we should all take a long, hard look at Paralympians
    The Times, 02/06/2012, p.12; The Times Online, 02/06/2012, p.1
    Disabled athlete Simon McKeown, a reader in post-production and animation at Teesside University, calls for more appreciation of Paralympic athletes.


  • New exhibitions opened at arts centre
    Epworth Bells & Crowle Advertiser, 22/03/2012, p.21
    Two new exhibitions opened this month at Scunthorpe's 20-21 Visual Arts Centre to celebrate sport taking place across North Lincolnshire this summer. One of these is Simon McKeown's 'Motion Disabled'


  • Sporting exhibitions in North Lincolnshire
    South Yorkshire Times (Web), 29/02/2012
    Simon McKeown's Motion Disabled exhibition is an ongoing video artwork where he has created animated characters. The Teeside University lecturer teaches computer animation techniques and he has used t


  • Motion Disabled
    Artist Newsletter, 01/02/2011, p.16/17
    Teesside University academic Simon McKeown's creation Motion Disabled is featured. This art installation presents images of different body forms and movement stripped of their social baggage, allowing