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

“Creativeness is a little something that I’m actually striving to deliver into the paintings, landscapes intertwined with subjects that are shut to my coronary heart and lived encounter.”

By Rise Art | 19 Oct 2022

Emily Kirby has not long ago joined Increase Artwork, bringing her paintings of semi-abstracted figures to the platform. She uses combinations of layered block colors to form her figures, usually sculptural like. Obtaining moved to and lived in diverse countries, her performs generally elicit a unique feeling of place and surroundings in which her topics dwell. Emily’s function displays connectiveness and delicate appreciation of spots she knows well, and routinely returns to in her function.

Emily incorporating last touches before using this piece to The Other Art Truthful in London (@emilykirby_art)


How would you explain your type and the function you produce?

My paintings are predominantly figurative, going concerning abstraction and illustration. They are usually primarily based on both true and imagined ordeals. The figures dwell in dreamlike landscapes. Although the narrative is open for interpretation, the inspiration in my new function starts with a need to inform queer stories. 

Completely ready FOR THE PARADE, 2022, print on paper, 70 x 59cm


Convey to us a little bit about the inspiration behind your practice

Creativeness is some thing that I’m seriously hoping to deliver into the paintings, landscapes intertwined with subjects that are near to my coronary heart and lived working experience. 

At the moment, queer lives and representation is surely vital to me, the pure entire world is also a big inspiration in my do the job. At moments my perform approaches the two topics separately and other periods, I’d like to think, my do the job is delving into the relationship between the two: queer life and the organic world.

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


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

As a starting off point, I generally attract on memories of folks and friends I know. It can also be a position I’ve been or someplace I have imagined as the portray progresses. As the operate commences to sort, a dialog commences and I love responding to abstracted shapes that can appear. I also use uncovered photos when I need to have to reference a determine for a painting.

Old Good friends, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 130cm


How has your follow evolved in modern decades?

It is definitely become a lot more experimental. A good deal of my perform used to be comprised of a one determine isolated within just a very simple history, all of the painting existed inside the figure. I’m now bringing in landscapes to compose a scene, solitary figures and portraits are however there, but I have turn out to be much more interested in playing with narrative.

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


What’s an ordinary day like in your studio? 

I’m a daytime painter. I reside close to the seashore so mornings are on the beach front typically and then residence to paint in the studio from midmorning. Depending on deadlines I can operate into the night when the strain is on even though. I do like to be versatile, I consider it is vital to let your self to live a existence outside the house of the studio that is likely to feed and notify your work.

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


What/Who are your critical influences?

I have been blessed ample to improve up close to a lot of artist’s on both equally sides of my relatives, my Dad, Grandmother, Uncle and Phase Mother are/ended up all painters. I commenced exhibiting with my action mother, Radu Tesaro, in Czech at the commence of painting entire time, she was hugely influential and aided me improve in self-assurance as an artist.

I was born in Zambia, it was a wonderful prospect to spend time portray with my father who lived out there, he taught me a great deal. I have been fortunate to be provided displays with galleries in Lusaka, which includes the 37d Gallery, who had been and are also immensely supportive.

I’ve been residing in London, Madrid and Hove about the previous fifteen many years. My spouse is Spanish and our life alongside one another and instances expended with good friends all feed into my operate.


Who are some Increase Artwork artists with function you happen to be savoring at the minute?

I seriously take pleasure in 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 currently functioning on any remarkable new initiatives?

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

The very first is a exhibit at 2 Gresham Road in London from January to May, with VJB Arts. I delight in exhibiting in major areas, it’s a excellent prospect to perform on some massive scale paintings.

A solo demonstrate is also prepared with a new gallery that I’m seeking forward to doing work with in London upcoming calendar year, although I just cannot announce facts just nevertheless.