We’d like to kick off this next round of featured artists with a look at the delicately crafted work of SSA Member and newly appointed Council Member, Kirsty Lorenz.
Tell us what got you into art – how you got started – what first excited you?
I stopped making my own artwork after I finished studying art and art history at Goldsmiths in 1992 and developed a career as a Hospital Arts Co-ordinator for Artlink-Edinburgh. It was an encounter with a painting in Chicago Art Institute in 1999 that inspired me to return to painting, it had such resonance and craft – it was ‘Trompe-l’Oeil Still Life with a Flower Garland and a Curtain’ (1658), a still life of blooming and overblown flowers with insects by Adriaen van der Spelt, partially concealed by a blue silk curtain, painted by Frans van Mieris. A wonderful piece.
Where do you make your work?
I work from my unusual studio on Platform 2, Ladybank Railway Station in Fife, a still functioning station on the line from Edinburgh to Dundee and Perth. The station is a lovely building, built c.1850 in italianate style – my studio used to be the old station restaurant rooms which were boarded up in the 60’s and had gone into disrepair. I renovated the rooms and created my studio in 2009.
What are your main influences and sources of inspiration?
Flowers have been a central subject to my work for nearly 15 years, Theodore Roethke sums up why for me with his line, ‘Deep in their roots all flowers hold the light’. I have been especially inspired by the wild flowers in Scotland and the islands over the past few years, their humility, strength, beauty and prolific nature.
I love Winifred Nicholson’s paintings for her incredible use of colour; the Dutch master still lives for their exquisite detail, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s compositional skills in his beautiful drawings and watercolours of flowers.
Is there some piece of advice / information / knowledge that you’d like to share?
I have found Fife to be a very supportive place to be an artist since I moved here in 2008. I would never have been able to create such a great studio in the city, there are many talented artists here and a vibrant creative scene including Cupar Arts Festival, The Fire Station in Dunfermline, several open studios events, The Artline (celebrating the arts and culture on the railway line through Fife) etc. Fife artists are blessed with ‘Fife Contemporary Arts & Crafts’ who continue to generate wonderful opportunities and support for artists despite the current financial climate. From Saturday 7th – Monday 9th May 2016 my studio will be open each day from 10am-6pm as I am taking part in ‘The Artline’ www.theartline.co.uk and North East Fife Open Studioswww.openstudiosfife.co.uk . All welcome.
Tell us about a project you are working on at present. This could be an exhibition, commission, public art or curatorial project, a residency, travel opportunity or an area of research.
I am continuing to develop ‘Votive Offerings’, an ongoing project depicting posies of wild flowers I am making and leaving around Scotland. I am currently working on a series of winter ‘Votive Offerings’, posies of seed heads and grasses tied with ivy, in oils on linen. I’m excited to be planning a trip to beautiful Orkney in June 2016 to create Orkney posies as ‘Votive Offerings’ and to make a short film about the flowers and the posies, in their landscape, with Orkney based film-maker Mark Jenkins.
SSA Webpage: www.s-s-a.org/member/kirstylorenz