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

Artist's Statement

A HEART DIVIDED (2005 - 2011)

A Heart Divided talks about my divided self as a child growing up in Scotland with a Scottish father and a mother who was born in South Africa. It also refers to the division in my own life whereby my childhood was spent in Scotland, but the majority of my life has been lived in South Africa.

This work will pave the way for a future major work (see A Heart Divided Installation 2011).


MOYA (2010)

This work reflects our global and my individual concerns about the impact that hot, polluted, cold and moist air has on the life, health and future of our planet earth.

RITUAL (2012)

The work alludes to secular or religious ritual ceremonies carried out by ancient tribes and  societies around the globe linked to sacrifice, life, death and afterlife.  The artist has used her own image lying prostrate and was filmed interacting with the work as she made it.  Everything is about mystery and mystical ritual;  the laborious ritual of making  Bojagi wrapping cloth (the South Korean form of patchwork); the ritual of the artist's hair as it is laid out;  and the final ritual performance by the artist wrapping the cloths around herself as shrouds and  protective coverings.  The artist has included close up images of her own hair in the large wrapping cloth and those of the other people in South Africa - black and white.


I have always loved experimenting with my hair. Hair attracts both males and females and has been seen as erotic throughout the ages in various cultures.  In some societies the head is covered for this reason.

In this installation I use myself and my own hair.  I filmed in hair salons and wove the real hair of fellow South Africans both black and white. My work refers not only to self-love but also to love for ones fellow human beings.


In recent years I have been using hair as a metaphor for myself in my life in some of my works.

I like many other women and also some men attach importance to my hair.  It is for me one aspect of my self expression and creativity.  I have an emotional and of course physical connection to it. My hair also contains my DNA.

In this work I have used my hair (fibre) my body and my clothes (textile) to form a unit of expression, of design.  I also am surrounded by the hair of other people, black and white with whom I interact on a daily basis in South Africa.