Kirsty is inspired by nature, particularly flowers and plants, a subject rich in history, both resilient and profoundly fragile. Making art is her way of praying for its future, of loving it, of thanking it, of being connected. By combining accuracy of detail with poetic representation and a conceptual background she aims to explore deeper themes.
Kirsty's work is informed by research and observation, by the work of other creative people, such as the Victorian botanical artist Mary Delany, ideas of plant energy, plant science and our spiritual relationship to nature written about by Stephen Buhner and Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Two main long term ongoing projects Kirsty is working on:
‘Votive Offerings’ is the depiction of wild flower and plant posies that she has made (and often left) around Scotland and further afield. Beginning in 2014 the work explores the motif of the posy as a gift, prayer or message, as well as the poetics of the act of making and leaving the posies in different environments or locations. The flower posies as a Votive Offering are ephemeral in themselves, quickly wilting and dying, but the portrayal of them renders them more permanent.
‘Pharmaka - Plants, Medicine and Magic’ is the other main strand to Kirsty's work, inspired by old herbalist recipes, portraying combinations of plants and flowers with herbalist healing properties. This is such a rich vein to explore, and has strong ties with religion and spiritualism e.g. Hilda Von Bingen. Her compositions aim to capture some of the mystery and magic of plants and their healing properties as well as that of our connection to nature.
Kirsty studied Art and Art History at Goldsmiths College, London University, 1989-1992 and now works from her unusual studio at Ladybank Railway Station. A still functioning rural station, the studio is on Platform 2 looking directly onto the platform, passengers can see her works hanging in the window as they pass.
Society of Scottish Artists – Professional Member
Theoartisty – a collaborative art project run by The Department of Divinity, St Andrews University, bringing together artists and theologians exploring the integration of text and image.
Elixir Vitae – development of new work inspired by 15th century ‘elixir of life’ recipes responding to research at the Herbarium, and Library and Archive, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh funded by VACMA
Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS – 100 Flowers Project
Lothian Healthcare NHS Trust
Royal Bank of Scotland
Applecross Property Development
Private collections in UK, Europe and USA.
Awards and Grants
2021 – VACMA £750 grant awarded to support research and development of new work in response to research at Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh Herbarium and Library.
2015 – The Meffan Gallery and Museum Solo Exhibition Award, Society of Scottish Artists
2014 – ‘Next Steps’ £6000 Award for research, development and mentoring, from FCAC
2013 – Artist Opportunity Grant from FCAC for a research trip to the Outer Hebrides
2013 – Business Gateway, Create in Fife Grant – funding towards a new website
2010 – Artist Award, Fife Council
2009 – Railway Heritage Trust,
2009 - Fife Business
2008 – Artist Award, Fife Council
2005 – Hope Scott Trust Award
BA Joint Hons Art & Art History, 2:1, Goldsmiths College, London 1992
Recent Solo Exhibitions
2019 ‘Poesis’, Solo Exhibition at Resipole Studios, Argyll
2018 ‘The Blessing of the Rain’, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
2017 ‘Floresce’ – Solo Exhibition, The Meffan Gallery and Museum, Angus, and Montrose Museum, Angus
Recent Group Exhibitions (Selected)
2020 ‘Bring in the Light’, group exhibition at The Tatha Gallery, Newport
2019 ‘Palimpsest’, group exhibition with Society of Scottish Artists, An Lantair Gallery, 2019 The Scottish Exhibition, group exhibition, Panter and Hall Gallery, London
2018/19 OPEN VAS & SSA Together, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh
2018/19 The Fraser Gallery, St Andrews, group exhibition
2018 Fabriano en Aquarello, Fabriano, Italy
2018 AAF, Panter and Hall, London
2017 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 175th Anniversary Exhibition
2017 Scottish Exhibition, Fabriano-inaquerello, Italy
2017 ‘Roots and Wings’, 3 person show with Ade Adessina & Freya Payne, Tatha Gallery, Dundee
2016 ‘Flora Depicta’, Group exhibition, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
2016 Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, Annual Open Exhibition, Glasgow
2016 Society of Scottish Artists Annual Open Exhibition, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh
2016 ‘Exquisite Corpse’, Group exhibition, Society of Scottish Artists, St. Andrews Museum, Fife
2015 SSA Annual Exhibition, The Academy, The National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
1994 – 2001 Hospital Arts Co-ordinator for Artlink, Edinburgh (Disability Arts Charity). A full-time post developing and managing a range of participatory, collaborative and commissioning arts projects in hospitals across Edinburgh and the Lothians.
2001 -2003 Freelance Arts Education Consultant carrying out a range of arts education, and disability arts, research for The Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland), Engage (Arts Education Organisation), Stills Gallery, The National Galleries of Scotland
2009 – present day as a self employed artist teaching popular weekly art classes from my studio. I have also delivered a number of art workshops and lectures in schools and museum settings for Fife Contemporary and have run a large number of flower painting weekend workshops from my studio.