Joanna Kirk - Selected Works

selected works

 Joanna Kirk primarily uses the medium of pastel, attracted by its softness and delicacy, its pure pigmentation and the ways in which it can be directly manipulated with the fingers. Kirk is unique in her use of this medium today, falling in line with a few great artists through history who have utilised pastel including Degas, Mary Cassatt and more recently, Paula Rego. Fusing drawing and painting – Kirk describes her works as ‘pastel paintings’ – she gradually builds up the surface of each piece, adding layer upon layer to produce compositionally rich and complex landscapes. Appearance comprises a psychologically tense and dreamlike view, almost abstract in its surface detail. Upon closer inspection, two children can be found playing, hiding or perhaps even searching amongst the many shards of rock; the presence of these figures in the scene is ambiguous, mysterious even, contributing to the atmospheric tension of the piece. Kirk is particularly interested in the role of motherhood – both on a personal level and within society more generally - and through her artistic practice it is as if we are momentarily opened up to the imagination of childhood and allowed insight into a lost sense of magic and fantasy. Her landscapes are epic, intense and monumental, stimulating notions of the uncanny within the mind.