June 24, 2024


Life is art

Interview with Emily Kirby: Semi-abstracted figures and a distinct sense of place

Interview with Emily Kirby: Semi-abstracted figures and a distinct sense of place

“Imagination is some thing that I’m seriously trying to carry into the paintings, landscapes intertwined with topics that are close to my coronary heart and lived knowledge.”

By Increase Artwork | 19 Oct 2022

Emily Kirby has a short while ago joined Increase Art, bringing her paintings of semi-abstracted figures to the system. She uses combinations of layered block colors to variety her figures, often sculptural like. Possessing moved to and lived in diverse nations around the world, her functions typically elicit a distinctive perception of position and atmosphere in which her topics dwell. Emily’s perform reveals connectiveness and sensitive appreciation of areas she is aware effectively, and regularly returns to in her do the job.

Emily introducing closing touches just before getting this piece to The Other Art Honest in London (@emilykirby_artwork)


How would you describe your design and the perform you create?

My paintings are largely figurative, moving involving abstraction and representation. They are often based mostly on both equally real and imagined encounters. The figures dwell in dreamlike landscapes. Whilst the narrative is open for interpretation, the inspiration in my current operate starts with a desire to explain to queer stories. 

All set FOR THE PARADE, 2022, print on paper, 70 x 59cm


Tell us a little bit about the inspiration at the rear of your exercise

Imagination is something that I’m seriously attempting to provide into the paintings, landscapes intertwined with topics that are close to my heart and lived encounter. 

At the instant, queer life and representation is definitely important to me, the natural world is also a substantial inspiration in my work. At occasions my function methods the two subjects separately and other situations, I’d like to believe, my do the job is delving into the connection amongst the two: queer life and the natural earth.

Enthusiasts III, 2022, giclee print on German etching paper, 42 x 28cm


How do you go about picking out the topics and scenes for your paintings?

As a starting up stage, I generally draw on memories of persons and friends I know. It can also be a spot I’ve been or somewhere I have imagined as the painting progresses. As the get the job done begins to sort, a dialog begins and I delight in responding to abstracted styles that can look. I also use found pictures when I have to have to reference a figure for a painting.

Outdated Friends, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 130cm


How has your practice evolved in modern many years?

It’s unquestionably grow to be extra experimental. A great deal of my operate utilised to be comprised of a solitary figure isolated within just a uncomplicated history, all of the painting existed within just the figure. I’m now bringing in landscapes to compose a scene, solitary figures and portraits are continue to there, but I’ve grow to be far more interested in enjoying with narrative.

Hornbill III, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80cm


What is an typical day like in your studio? 

I’m a daytime painter. I are living near the beach front so mornings are on the seaside ordinarily and then residence to paint in the studio from midmorning. Based on deadlines I can work into the night when the stress is on though. I do like to be flexible, I feel it’s crucial to permit you to are living a everyday living exterior of the studio that’s likely to feed and tell your get the job done.

Emily finished large commission for a collector in London (@emilykirby_artwork)


What/Who are your key influences?

I have been lucky adequate to improve up all around a good deal of artist’s on both equally sides of my spouse and children, my Father, Grandmother, Uncle and Stage Mother are/were all painters. I started exhibiting with my stage mother, Radu Tesaro, in Czech at the get started of painting full time, she was hugely influential and assisted me increase in self confidence as an artist.

I was born in Zambia, it was a terrific opportunity to devote time painting with my dad who lived out there, he taught me a good deal. I have been lucky to be available displays with galleries in Lusaka, like the 37d Gallery, who were being and are also immensely supportive.

I have been residing in London, Madrid and Hove over the previous fifteen several years. My spouse is Spanish and our lives alongside one another and situations invested with close friends all feed into my function.


Who are some Rise Art artists with perform you are experiencing at the minute?

I seriously get pleasure from the get the job done of Serena Singh, Barbara Kuebel, Philip Maltman, Charlotte Roseberry, Dawn Beckles, Phoebe Boddy at the second. 

Siesta, 2021, giclee print, 85 x 60cm


Are you at present doing the job on any fascinating new projects?

I have exhibitions in the pipeline for upcoming 12 months that I’m really hunting ahead to. 

The to start with is a demonstrate at 2 Gresham Street in London from January to May, with VJB Arts. I love exhibiting in large spaces, it is a fantastic option to do the job on some huge scale paintings.

A solo show is also prepared with a new gallery that I’m looking forward to doing work with in London future calendar year, though I just cannot announce details just nonetheless.