Keith Jansz, who paints with his mouth and foot after a car accident in 1995 is all set for a new exhibition in Northampton.
Keith is a highly creative and inspirational artist who works from his studio at home. A Member of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, he was awarded the Spinal Injuries Association’s “Rebuilding Lives” Creative Arts Award in 2015.
In 1995 Keith suffered a broken neck in a tragic car accident, resulting in complete paralysis from the shoulders down. After six months in the NSIC at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Keith returned home to begin the painful process of adjusting to his new situation. As part of his recovery he turned to painting, with the added challenge of painting with his mouth, not his hands.
He is set to exhibit his new work, in an exhibition called "Paint, Brush & Spirit" at 78 Derngate in Northamptonshire in Autumn 2018 (6th October - 16th December 2018).
Keith, a mouth artist, has held numerous solo exhibitions in the UK, US and Italy and his paintings have been exhibited in museums around the world including Lisbon, Madrid, Copenhagen, Shanghai and Atlanta.
Keith enjoys exploring the sensations of light in his paintings, from the sparkling reflective sunlight at the beach to the unique atmospheric light in Venice and the long shadows of winter light on snow. He also enjoys the demanding discipline of painting the human figure, in pastel or oil. Like his heroes the Impressionists, Keith revels in the challenge of painting ‘en plein air‘ to capture the most authentic effect, completing his paintings in the studio.
He said: “I’m delighted to be exhibiting again at 78 Derngate, this time showing British works. My main inspiration is light, which constantly changes, so in order to express the variations of light I return to the subjects of London, Cornwall and local scenes, time and time again. I hope these images express something of the joy I had in painting them.”
He said: “I broke my neck at C56 which means I am paralysed from the chest down, I cannot use my hands and I have limited use of my arms. “Just a month before my crash I had run the London Marathon and I was really physically fit. “After the accident I couldn’t do anything for myself and I descended into a deep, dark well of depression.”
He added: “Going from having such a sporty and physical state of mind to having to be fed by other people. Self esteem and self respect go out of the window.”
But help was at hand, in the shape of a book called Painters First, given to Keith by his mother-in-law. The book, which was a biography of mouth and foot painting artists inspired Keith to give it a go himself. Cindy arranged for Mr Jansz to meet with mouth artist Trevor Wells, which further inspired him, and he thrilled to be accepted as a student artist by the Mouth And Foot Painting Association.
After receiving training from the association, Mr Jansz honed his skills using adapted equipment and is a now a highly respected artist in his own right. Indeed, Mr Jansz’s original paintings sell for anything up to £4,500.
Mr Jansz, who enjoys exploring light in his paintings, as well as the discipline of painting the human figure, said: “There are enough bad things going on in the world, and enough sad things that I could paint. “But my paintings are about light, and elevating people, it’s wonderful to do and I’m very lucky.”