maltings meets: jackie kirk | festival of crafts 2020
Ahead of festival of crafts 2020, we will be shining a light on just some of the exhibitors who will be showcasing their work over the weekend. First up is local printmaker Jackie Kirk who tells us more about the work she will be bringing to the festival and how she splits her time as an artist and a member of the Maltings’ Box Office team.
tell us a little bit more about yourself and the work you do..
I’m a printmaker based in locally in Woking who works in Linocut and likes to make bright, bold illustrations for all ages to enjoy. After years of feeling stuck in a rut with my art, in 2014 I enrolled at the University of the Creative Arts here in Farnham to study for a Masters in Illustration. It was time spent in their printmaking studio that really impacted my practice going forward as I rediscovered Linocut, having briefly tried it years before. Since then I’ve been getting to know the medium by just making and having fun with it. Illustration is all about visual language, saying something through imagery or telling a story, so I like to try and have some kind of narrative running through my work, often adding a bit of humour too. I still think I have a lot to learn when it comes to working in Linocut but I’m certainly enjoying the journey.
Regular visitors may recognise you as being part of our Box Office team! How do you find balancing the work and does one ever inspire the other?
It was certainly an adjustment returning to work after having everyday free to spend in my studio during lockdown but I do feel that I’ve found a good balance between the two. I spend the first half of my week at the Maltings then the second half in my studio and I do appreciate having that structure. It can also be beneficial to step away from the studio, when things aren’t quite going to plan or an idea isn’t developing as you’d like it to, so going off to work and coming back with fresh eyes a couple of days later can really get things back on track. I feel very lucky that part of my role at the Maltings is curating exhibitions in the Riverside Café. Through this I have met many wonderful artists and seen some amazing artwork. Even though the work and approaches may be very different to my own art, seeing the creativity and passion of other artists, you can’t help but be inspired.
Did lockdown make you look differently at the work you do and inspire you to create differently?
I approached lockdown as an opportunity to get organised and finish some of my outstanding jobs. I am often guilty of having a new idea and moving on to another piece before I’ve completed the previous one, so having more time to dedicate to my studio and no events or fairs to think about meant I could try and get myself a little more organised. Working on older prints really helped me to reflect on how my practice and ideas have developed since I started working with Linocuts and to perhaps give me a bit of extra confidence to be more ambitious going forward. Even before lockdown I had been thinking that I would love to scale up my work and produce bigger pieces and spending more time with my linocuts really made me think that there was no time like the present, so in July I took delivery of a lovely new printing press and I’m very exciting to start thinking big with it.
What are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival this year?
I haven’t been to any events with my art since February and that feels like a lifetime ago, so I’m really looking forward to being surrounded by other makers after months of working alone in my studio. There are some exhibitors whose work I’m already familiar with, so it will be lovely to see what new pieces they have been creating, as well as discovering some new makers. Of course getting to interact with customers is invaluable, I love it if I see someone smiling because of my work (although that will be a little more difficult this year with masks) but having someone connect with something you’ve made makes all the hard work worth it.
Can you give us some teasers about the work you will be bringing to the festival?
Some of the older pieces I revisited during lockdown never quite made it to the printing press after I cut them, so now they are complete it will be lovely to bring them to the Festival of Crafts for the first time and even though I do plan to work on a bigger scale in the future, I actually seem to be going the other way at the moment by making some smaller prints. It’s been such a horrible year that I wanted to create some fun, cheerful, original art that is really affordable, makes people smile and could be a lovely gift to give to someone who could do with something happy to let them know they are being thought of.
Jackie Kirk Illustration
festival of crafts 2020 takes place on Sat 17 & Sun 18 October. Find out more and book tickets here.