Keir Smith was born in Kent in 1950. He studied Fine Art at the University of Newcastle–upon–Tyne from 1969–73 and at Chelsea School of Art from 1973–75. He lived and worked in London and Suffolk, teaching at Wimbledon School of Art. Keir Smith passed away in 2007.
Over the course of his career Smith exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions in the UK and completed many sculpture commissions for public and landscape sites in the 1980s and 90s, including Grizedale Forest, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, University of Warwick, Henrietta House, London (Public Art Development Trust) and the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail.
Keir Smith's practice presents a constant dialogue between sculpture and painting. During his career he oscillated between these mediums; using painting to develop, sketch and document his sculptural object based forms. Drawing was vital to Smith, serving his sculpture in an indirect way, as a method of investigating subject matter and developing ideas. In the early 1980s Smith began to start turning process into performance, creating a series of sculptures and installations documenting his interaction with the landscape, often presented as compositions or images on the ground. The sources for Smith’s mature work were based in the art, architecture and sculpture of the Italian Renaissance. Smith’s stone carvings and woodcarvings were spare and direct, with clean lines and pure surfaces.