Below is an interview for North City 4 I did anticipating the workshop I am conducting there next week...
We put the hard hitting questions to Kirsten Perry
In anticipation of our ring making workshop with Kirsten Perry, we sent Katherine Bowman to find out more about what makes the artist tick…
Kirsten Perry – Ahh Cup
1. We are inspired by your eclectic practice. Can you tell us a little about your background and what led you to embracing different mediums?
I have always been interested in art and craft since I was a young girl. After high school I got into Industrial Design at RMIT and was a little out of my depth at first because the learning curve was so high and most other people had completed a Tafe course before. I learnt a lot about materials and design for manufacture, especially mold making. All along thought I had wanted to study fine art, so after I finished my degree I went on to study Fine Art Gold & Silversmithing at RMIT, which I loved. One of my class mates, Makiko Mitsunari, invited me to go live in Japan after we finished. Unfortunately I came back really sick with cancer. I took the next few years to focus on my health and dropped most things creative. Then I went back to RMIT to study multimedia at Tafe which what I teach now. Currently I am enjoying the balance of teaching multimedia at Tafe and the rest of the time making work for my creative practice.
2. Do you have a favourite medium or process?
I love so many different mediums and processes as it adds variation, new challenges and keeps it interesting. Hammering silver, wax carving, squishy clay, colourful glazes and quick animation techniques are just a few. I love making weird one offs and also the challenge of discovering a popular item and making small production runs via mold making. I love combining new materials and incorporating humor via words and text. Whatever process or material I am using, mistakes and wonkiness play an important part.
3. What is it that inspires you about teaching?
I love passing on any knowledge that I have to people who are equally excited about creative stuff. I think everyone has a unique perspective of life and can bring that into their work. I am totally inspired by my students and as I get to know them, I can see how their work develops. If I can introduce them to concept development techniques and inspiration that helps them to produce innovative work they are proud of, I feel that is the most satisfying part of my job.
4. What resources do you go to for inspiration?
At the moment I am totally addicted to Pinterest as it is my daily ritual. I have been introduced to artists and other creative things that I perhaps would not have come across. It also links me to other like mined people and reassures me that there are other creatives out there attracted to the same weird stuff. From looking at my own boards I have come to realize what my own aesthetic is and what I am attracted to. This helps me when I am designing a new piece because I have a clearer understanding of what design elements such as colour, shape, texture etc I am currently fixated upon.
I am also a big advocate of seeking out other things that are non art or design as I think balance is very important. Reading, meditation, yoga, podcasts, friends and walking are constant sources of inspiration for me.
5. What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I just got back from holiday in Perth, visiting my sister. I have just finished converting my garage into a studio with rendered walls, skylight, floating floors and it is all ready to go. So the first day back I got in there and am making small production runs of some ceramic cups that I am going to display in the Craft Victoria window.I made about 7 cups and came up with 2 I was really happy with for production. They are big cups for tea. I am also thinking of words and images I am going to draw on them…all a bit wacky and humorous, I hope. Also a bit of gardening.