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 textiles 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 76 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, Latvia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Russia, Uruguay, Portugal and China.

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


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 and has received major awards both nationally and internationally.

Read the latest article on Fiona Kirkwood's life and artwork published in the Independent on Saturday, 4 February 2023.