Fiona Kirkwood

Fiona Kirkwood is a South African artist who lives in
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. She works in fibre and mixed media
to produce contemporary sculptures and installations

South African Artist Fiona Kirkwood

Fiona Kirkwood is a pioneer in her field in South Africa and internationally. She is noted for the cutting edge manner in which she combines fine art and weaving to create highly textured multi- media conceptual works.

Her unique way of mixing unorthodox materials to make sculptures and installations sets her apart. Her works are usually monumental, dramatic and manifest a powerful physical presence.

Her work since 1980 has involved an exploration of magical, ritual, social, political, environmental and spiritual and identity themes.

Kirkwood’s works reflect her awareness of the spirit of South Africa and the energy and vibrancy of KwaZulu-Natal, where she lives, the transition from the apartheid era to post-apartheid democracy, HIV/Aids and environmental issues, of pollution, the endangerment of large mammals, and climate change as well as works that reflect issues of identity and life and death rituals.

The underlying message, which lies central to her work, is a desire to protect all forms of life.

Kirkwood’s work consists of large sculptures and installations of textiles, mixed media and video which reflect these conceptual concerns.

Fiona Kirkwood's work has been widely recognized and highly respected internationally. She has exhibited in 12 Solo exhibitions in South Africa and South Korea and 60 group exhibitions both in South Africa and Internationally, including Scotland, Italy, France, India, Poland, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Lithuania, Australia, Argentina, United States, Canada, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, Czech Republic, Russia and Uruguay.

She has works in many public and private collections in South Africa and abroad.

She has received major awards nationally and internationally, including as a merit award winner for Vita Craft Now 1997, and first prize winner at ‘Textile 05’ Kaunas Art Biennial, Lithuania, 2005

Apart from her work as a practising artist, Fiona Kirkwood has lectured at several Universities in Fine Art, Art Education and Fashion Design, and run her own Art School. She has also worked as an art therapist, designed sets and costumes for theatre and curated exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including ‘Skin to Skin’ exhibited at the Kaunas Art Biennial, Kaunas 2007, Lithuania and Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg 2008

Kirkwood has individually represented South Africa on many international Biennials and Triennials.

Early in 2008, Kirkwood was chosen along with several other top South African artists, to exhibit her installation ‘Survival’ on the Make Art/ Stop AIDS exhibition at the Fowler Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles USA.

Along with Walter Oltmann, Fiona Kirkwood represented South Africa with her large installation ‘Inceptions’ on Miniartextil, 2008, San Francesco Church Como, Italy.

With her internationally acclaimed and award winning work ‘Survival’ she was amongst 19 artists selected worldwide to exhibit at the top exhibition at the 5th International Biennial of Textile Art, Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires Argentina in 2009.

In 2010 from May until the end of October, another major work ‘Radiate (d)’ at the 13th International Triennial of Tapestry, Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland, where there are 130 artists from 55 countries. Kirkwood was the only artist from South Africa invited.

Since then in 2011 Kirkwood has shown on 6th International Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art, Aire-Mexico, Diego Rivera Anuahacalli Museum, Mexico City, Mexico; International Kaunas Art Biennial-Textile 11, M.K Zilinskas Museum, Kaunas, Lithuania (selected as one of 31 chosen from 330 artists who applied worldwide) and "Modulator" Design Biennial, Erarta Museum, St Petersburg, Russia.

2012 “Scythia9” Kherson, Ukraine; 3rd Triennial of Textiles Without Borders, Galleria M.A. Bazowskeho Trencin / National Cultural Centre, Bratislava, Slovakia; A solo exhibition at Non Gallery, Korea Bojagi Forum, Heyri Artists Village, near Seoul, South Korea.

2013 Eros Miniartextil, Villa Olmo, Como, Italy.

2014 Eros Miniartextil, Le Beffroi, Montrouge, Paris, France.

2014  “HardTwist; This is Personal” Gladstone Hotel, Toronto ,Canada.

2015  “Diversity and Unity ”, Arsenals Halls, Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia.

2016  “From Lausanne to Beijing“9th International Fiber Art Biennale, Guan Shan Yue Art Museum, Shenzhen, China.

2015 -2017  “Textile Art of Today” Bratislava Castle, Slovak National Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia ; Tatra Gallery, Poprad, Slovakia ; Museum of History, Bielsko-Bialej, Poland ; Romer Floris Art and History Museum, Gyor, Hungary ; Museum of Moravian Slovakia, Uherske Hradiste , Czech Republic.

2017  22 Invited Artists , VII Biennial of Contemporary Art Textile, WTA, National Museum of Visual Arts, Montevideo, Uruguay.

WEBSITE: www.fionakirkwood.co.za

 

Curriculum Vitae

BORN: Scotland 8th April 1949
1979: South African Citizen

EDUCATION

D.A. (Glasgow School of Art) 1971. M.A.F.A. (Natal) Fibre Sculpture 1983. Thesis: "THE DEVELOPMENT OF FIBRE ART WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO SOUTH AFRICA AND AFRICAN INDIGENOUS FUNCTIONAL FIBRE ART".

Certificate of Secondary Education (equivalent to H.D.E.) (with distinction) Moray House College of Education, Edinburgh, 1972.

ARTISTIC ACTIVITY

Fiona Kirkwood has exhibited in 12 solo exhibitions in South Africa, India and South Korea and 60 group exhibitions, both in South Africa and internationally, including Scotland, France, Italy, Poland, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Lithuania, Australia, Argentina, United States, Canada, Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine and China.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 

2012 “Ritual” Non Gallery, Korea Bojagi Forum, Heyri Artists Village, near Seoul, South Korea.
2003 Invited Artist: “Coats and Coverings”- Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2002 Invited artist: “Coats and Coverings” – The Monument, Grahamstown Art Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa.
2001 “Coats and Coverings” - K.Z.N.S.A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa.
1998 “Transgressions?” N.S.A Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1991 “Talisman for Africa” Gallery International Cape Town South Africa
1994 “Rivers Of Life” Technikon Natal Art Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1989 “Talisman for Africa”, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1982 “Trees and Roots”, Rand Afrikaans University Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa.
1981 “Trees and Roots”, N. S. A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1981 “Trees and Roots,” Jack Heath Gallery, University Of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

 

2017 22 Invited Artists , VII Biennial of Contemporary International Art Textile, WTA, National Museum of Visual Arts, Montevideo, Uruguay
2016 “From Lausanne to Beijing" 9th International Fiber Art Biennale, Guan Shan Yue Art Museum, Shenzhen, China.
2015 -2017 “Textile Art of Today” Bratislava Castle, Slovak National Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia ; Tatra Gallery, Poprad, Slovakia ; Museum of History, Bielsko-Bialej, Poland ; Romer Floris Art and History Museum, Gyor, Hungary ; Museum of Moravian Slovakia, Uherske Hradiste , Czech Republic.
2015 5th Riga International Textile and Fibre Art Triennial "Tradition and Innovation" Diversity & Unity Arsenals Halls Latvian National Art Museum, Riga,, Latvia.
2014 "HardTwist; This is Personal" Gladstone Hotel, Toronto ,Canada
2013/14 "Eros" Miniartextil, 23rd Contemporary Art Exhibition, Villa Olmo, Como, Italy; Le Beffroi, Montrouge, Paris.
2012/13 The 3rd Textile Triennial "Without Borders", Milos Alexander Bazovsky Gallery, Trencin, Slovakia; National Cultural Centre, Bratislava, Slovakia; Liptov Gallery of Peter Michail Bohun, Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia; Gallery of the Museum of Moravian Slovakia, Uherske Hradiste, Czech Republic; Museum of Bielsko-Biela, Poland ; Varosi Muveszeti Museum in Gyor, Hungary.
2012 "Scythia 9" The Ninth International Biennial on Contemporary Textile Art, Gallery of the Artists Union, Kherson, Ukraine.
2012 “Contexturise” FADA Gallery, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2011 "Modulator" Design Biennial, Erarta Museum, St Petersburg, Russia.
2011 International Kaunas Art Biennial-Textile 11, M.K Zilinskas Museum, Kaunas, Lithuania.
2011 6th International Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art, Aire-Mexico, Diego Rivera Anuahacalli Museum, Mexico City, Mexico.
2010 13th International Triennial of Tapestry, Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland.
2009 International Biennial of Textile Art,( invited artist) Palace of Glass, Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2008 “Matrix Natura” (invited artist), miniartextilcomo, St Francesco Church, Como, Italy
2008 Make Art / Stop AIDS, “ Survival” 2003/5, Fowler Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
2007 Curated and exhibited in “Skin-to-Skin”, Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2007/8 Curated and exhibited in “Skin-to-Skin”, Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art from South Africa, 2008, Kaunas Art Biennial- Textile 07, M.K. Curlionis National Gallery of Art, Kaunas, Lithuania.
2007 Ten, Nova Constantia Cellars, Cape Town, South Africa
2006 “The Washing Line Installation 2” Jabulisa, The Art and Craft of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg (travelling exhibition, South Africa).
2006 16th International AIDS Conference, Installations “Survival” and “The Washing Line”. Toronto, Canada.
2006 Tangencya 2 “The Washing Line” Installation, TheWorkshop Shopping Centre, Durban, South Africa.
2006 Major Minors 11, Australian Quilt Convention, Melbourne, Australia.
2005 5th International Kaunas Art Biennial-Textile 05, Kaunas, Lithuania.
2005 “Survival Billboard” Maydon Wharf Road, Durban, South Africa ‘Break The Silence’ HIV/AIDS Billboard campaign, Artists’ for Humanity, sponsored by the National Lottery.
2005 “Object of Affection: Stolen”, The Goethe Institute, Salvador/ Bahia, Brazil (travelling internationally).
2004 “Women in Textile Art Biennial” Museum of Culture, Valencia, Venezuela.
2004/5 “Tangencya” – Installation “Survival” The Workshop Shopping Complex, Durban, South Africa.
2004 11th International Triennial of Tapestry, Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland.
2004 “Waste Art,” Sandton Square Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2003/4 “Artists’ Action around HIV/AIDS” – Durban Art Gallery; the Africa
Centre, Mtubatuba, South Africa; Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
2002 “Jabulisa” Johannesburg Art Gallery
“Untold Tales of Magic-Abelumbi” Durban Art Gallery
“Fibreworks 2” Tatham Art Gallery
2001 “Jabulisa” Durban Art Gallery
“Black and White Copies” N.S.A. Gallery, Durban
2000 13th International World AIDS Conference - “Pandemic Patient,” Durban Art Gallery.
“Transgressions? Human Rights and Globalization Conference, Panchgani, India
1997 “ Vita Crafts Now” Africa Window Gallery , Pretoria, South Africa
1994 "No Man's Land", Durban Art Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1993 "Artists with Camera" N.S.A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa; "Chairs Transformed" N.S.A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1992 "Contemporary Durban Artists", N.S.A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa; "Durban Revisited", N.S.A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1988 “100 Artists for Life", Elizabeth Gordon Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1985 Carriage House Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; “Woman's Exhibition" N.S.A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1984 "Invited Artists", N.S.A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa; Cape Association Of Arts Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
1983 "Fibre Art", N.S.A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa; "Fibre Art", Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
1981 "Things People Make", Durban Art Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1977 Market Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; “Contemporary Quilt", N.S.A. Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1976 "Fibre Sculpture", N.S.A.Gallery, Durban, South Africa
1972 First Gallery, Lanark, Scotland; Compass Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland; McLellan Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland

MOST IMPORTANT PRIZES AND DISTINCTIONS

 

2016 Award of Excellence “From Lausanne to Beijing – 9th International Fiber Art Biennale”, Guan Shan Yue Art Museum, Shenzhen, China.
2015 Award of Recognition of the Riga City Council, 5th Riga International Textile and Fibre Art   Triennial “Diversity & Unity”, Riga, Latvia.
2005 First Prize Winner in category of “Place”, 5th Kaunas Art Biennial Textile’05, Kaunas, Lithuania.
2002 Cultural exchange award by Danish Government for artistic visit to Copenhagen, Denmark.
1997 Merit Award Winner, “Vita Craft Now”, National exhibition, African Window, Pretoria, South Africa.

 

Public and Private Collections

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Durban Art Gallery, South Africa
Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Anglo American Corporation Johannesburg, South Africa
Department of National Education, Johannesburg, South Africa
Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland
Playhouse Theatre, Durban, South Africa.

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS

Scotland, United States, Denmark and South Africa.

 

Bibliography

CITATIONS AND ARTICLES IN BOOKS AND CATALOGUES

  1. ANNA MARIA ORBAN AMPRENTE CULTURAL IN ARTA FIBRELOR (FIBER ART)(2013) EDITURA MUZEULUI NATIONAL AL LITERATURII ROMANE(ROMANIA)
  2. IDA SUSSER "AIDS SEX AND CULTURE" (2009) WILEY-BLACKWELL
  3. FIONA KIRKWOOD “SKIN TO SKIN” KAUNAS ART BIENNIAL TEXTILE 05 CATALOGUE (2007) 126-1799
  4. FIONA KIRKWOOD “CHALLENGING HIV/AIDS IN SOUTH AFRICA THROUGH ART” VOL 35 NUMBERS 3 & 4 FALL/ WINTER (2007) WSQ ACTIVISMS , NEW YORK
  5. K Z N S A “A COMMUNITY OF ARTISTS” (2005)
  6. ZEBRA REGISTER OF SOUTH AFRICAN ARTISTS AND GALLERIES VOL 2 (2002) 45
  7. FIONA KIRKWOOD “THE FIBRE ART MOVEMENT AND FIBRE ART IN KWAZULU NATAL” CATALOGUE JABULISA: THE ART OF KWAZULU-NATAL( 2000) 13-19
  8. THE SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF ARTISTS AND DESIGNERS THE COLLECTOR’S GUIDE TO ART AND ARTISTS IN SOUTH AFRICA (1998)
  9. CONTEMPORARY ART PUBLISHERS A DIRECTORY OF CONTEMPORARY SOUTH AFRICAN ART (1997) UPDATED (1999)
  10. VAL ADAMSON AGFA’S TEXTURED LIVES” (1994)
  11. GRANIA OGILVY THE DICTIONARY OF SOUTH AFRICAN PAINTERS AND SCULPTORS (1988)

REFERENCES TO WORKS IN JOURNALS AND MAGAZINES

  1. JULIETA MORTATI PARA TI 4525(2009) “ARTE SECURO” 28-29
  2. SOUTH AFRICAN ART NEWS (AUGUST 2001) FRONT AND BACK COVER AND 08
  3. UMA PRAKASH “CHANGING ENVIRONMENTS” WORLD SCULPTURE NEWS WINTER (1999) VOL 5 NO 1 24-27
  4. MAMBA MARGINAL CULTURE WITH A LETHAL BITE (DEBUT ISSUE) (1998) 13-19
  5. DE KAT (MARCH 1995) ‘N TROPIESE HAVE” 90
  6. ART DESIGN ARCHITECTURE (ADA) (DURBAN ISSUE) (1994) 24, 32 75
  7. CAROL BROWN “ART FROM SCRAP”ART DESIGN ARCHITECTURE (ADA) (1990-1991) 29
  8. DENE SMUTS “IN HER OWN IMAGE” LEADERSHIP MAGAZINE (1987) VOL 6 NO 5 119
  9. ARTICLES IN OTHER BOOKS AND MANY LEADING LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES.

Articles in other books and many leading newspapers and magazines internationally

VIDEO PRODUCTION

Created and produced “Rivers of Life” representing 14 years of Fiona Kirkwood’s work 1980-94 (used by schools, technikons, municipal galleries and libraries throughout South Africa).

COMMISSIONS

1985 -1986: Commission for The Natal Playhouse Theatre, on 3 levels from the Drama Foyer to the Loft Theatre, Durban, South Africa,

1974: Tapestry Commission for Kilmarnock Arts Council, Kilmarnock Scotland.

THEATRE

1988: "Loft Festival 88" Natal Playhouse Theatre, Durban, South Africa. The dance production by NAPAC Dance Company was based on Fiona Kirkwood’s triptych "TALISMAN FOR AFRICA”. Fiona Kirkwood designed sets, costumes and co-choreographed with NAPAC dancer Gerard Samuel.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2004-2015: Moderator for Department of Fashion and Textiles, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa.

2002-2005: Part Time Lecturer In Drawing (3rd Year Dip FA) Department of Fine Art, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa.

1995-2008: Teaching Drawing and Painting at The Fiona Kirkwood Art Studio, Durban, South Africa

1990-2002: Part-Time Lecturer in Fashion Design, Technikon Natal, (Now Durban University of Technology) Durban, South Africa.

1983-96: Part-Time Lecturer in Drawing and Painting and Advanced Drawing and Painting, Basic Design, Figure Drawing, Colour, Weaving and Creative Embroidery, University of Natal (Now University of KwaZulu-Natal) Unit for Continuing Education, Durban, South Africa.

1985-6: Part-Time Lecturer in Fibre Art and Weaving, Department of Fine Art, Technikon Natal, (Now Durban University of Technology) Durban, South Africa.

1983-4: Part-Time Lecturer in Three-Dimensional Perceptual Studies, Department of Fine Art, Technikon Natal, (Now Durban University of Technology), Durban, South Africa.

1977-83: Junior Lecturer in Art Education, University of Durban-Westville, (Now University of KwaZulu-Natal) Durban, South Africa.

1975-6: Part-Time Lecturer in Weaving, M.L.Sultan Technikon, (Now Durban University of Technology), Durban, South Africa.

1975-6: Part-Time Lecturer in Weaving, Crafts and Basic Design, Department of Fine Art, Technikon Natal (Now Durban University of Technology) Durban, South Africa.

Fiona Kirkwood has run various workshops throughout South Africa, in drawing and painting, design, and life drawing, including at Valley Trust, Bothas Hill with Zulu bead workers and doll makers and at University of Cape Town Michaelis Art School’s, Summer School, Cape Town, South Africa.

THERAPEUTIC ART

1999-2001: Therapeutic Art Workshops with Transpersonal Therapist, Victoria Camplin, in Durban, South Africa.

CURATOR

2008: Curated “Skin-To-Skin - Challenging Textile Art” for The Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa.

2007: Curated “Skin-To-Skin” for The South African Exhibition, Textile 07, Kaunas Art Biennial, Kaunas, Lithuania

2016- 2017 South African Representative for World Textile Art.