Artist Statement

Painting remains relevant in the world because it maintains an independent language that can often communicate more effectively than words.  I wish to better understand how colour choice, brushstroke and other expressive decisions can connect with the viewer.  Conceptually, I believe how a painting is rendered should reflect the subject matter.  For example, the layering quality of paint shows a history, it can either show a struggle or the artist’s attempt to cover up that history.  This begins to not only reflect the painting but becomes a metaphor for human history as a whole.  I am drawn to contemporary artists such as Peter Doig, Jenny Saville, Tim Kent, Neo Rauch and Adrian Ghenie, artists who allow their process to be visible –something I am building towards in my own work.

In my painting practice I am interested in finding a balance between realism and abstraction, with emphasis on human ethics and individual responsibility.  In my final year I began dealing with the idea of abandonment and the search for a sense of place during a time of uncertainty.  Painting cathedrals became a poetic metaphor to rebuild the structure of my own belief system, and gain a better understanding of the world and forces around me.  My memories and personal experiences have always been present in my work, but over the last three years my philosophy studies have significantly influenced its direction. They have had me question what I think I know to be true, to ask what my purpose is and to think about my own ethical responsibility in the world.  To be grateful to participate in this extraordinary improbable life filled with magic, happiness, possibility, hope and often too difficult to explain experience.

email:  lkirker@ualberta.ca

CV: Kirker_PublicCV2017

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