Faces! Well we all have one. Maybe that’s why they are so fascinating. We see them everywhere, and then the mind’s eye finds them in anything we look at: rocks, clouds etc. Over the years, with no intention of doing so, Kirsten has collected faces and masks from travels from Iceland through Venice to Hong Kong. Although admired, she has never knowingly used them for inspiration.
Life drawing has been an inspiration for some of her work, but never faces. Kirsten says she can’t draw them (something she discovered at college) so used to just leave them out! When pushed by a GTA group project to work on a self-portrait, instead of drawing a face she decided to use a portion of a face and unrealistic colour. This proved to be a real turning point in her work. Her present work is quite realistic and is based on her family. A direction Kirsten would like to explore is masks as they have a history of being unrealistic and symbolic.
Sometimes we don’t realise what has influenced our work until we sit down afterwards and think about it - collecting masks, gallery postcards of the half-finished sketches of Rembrandt, early Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci. You don’t need a whole image of a face to see what it is and the emotions expressed. Even corporate logos and our coins have only a portion of an image but we can still work out the meaning: a very clever device as it makes your brain fill in the gaps.
The other element of Kirsten’s felt work is fun and child like felt creatures. These are never done from images or life, but from memory or imagination, just like children’s drawings.