Kirsty Russell is a visual artist working with structures, sculptures and events. Kirsty’s work is concerned with support, and structures that underpin and maintain. With reference to the women in her family who work in positions of care, she often returns to the physical and emotional weight of the work that they do and to the repetitive nature of maintenance. Her work expands into places of care, such as hospitals and schools, through project worker and other supporting roles.
Kirtsy was previously awarded a Jerwood Bursary, and in 2023 Kirsty was selected for Jerwood New Work Fund, which will support Kirsty’s first solo exhibition.
Developing a new body of work that draws correlations between handling practices for textile conservation, processes of sculptural casting, and the manners by which people are moved and handled in care and nursing practices. Departing from conversations with relatives working in healthcare, this project expands on Kirsty’s existing sculptural and hosting practices through sound and film to deepen her research on material interactions that occur in moving, supporting and engaging with the human body.
Exhibitions of Kirsty’s work include Platform: 2021, Edinburgh Art Festival (2021), A Spoon is the Safest Vessel, Glasgow Women’s Library (2019) and Common Positions curated by Seán Elder, for the Jerwood Staging Series (2019). In 2018 she was selected to undertake Syllabus IV, a collaboratively-produced alternative learning programme, jointly delivered by Wysing Arts Centre, Spike Island, Studio Voltaire, S1 Artspace, Eastside Projects and Iniva. In 2019 she was a Jerwood Bursary recipient. Kirsty is currently a Talbot Rice Resident, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh.
When asked what she was looking forward to about her Jerwood New Work Fund project, Kirsty said,
I’m looking forward to drawing together some of my research and practice from the past two years through this exhibition. It’s really exciting to have the opportunity to work with my mum, sister and other NHS healthcare workers, and I’m so grateful for the support of Seán Elder and the rest of the team at Cubitt.