Saturday, May 17, 2008

Textile Artist: Fiona Kirkwood

Fiona Kirkwood is a fibre/mixed media artist whose work is primarily sculptural and frequently targets sociopolitical issues of her native South Africa. "Survival", uses thousands of male and female condoms to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic (she notes that 'virus', 'save life' and 'viva' can be found within the word 'survival') . "Pachyderm Pelt" deals with man's threat to the elephant's existence. "The Struggle" reflects her response to the violence and turmoil of the struggle for freedom from apartheid.

A response to Virginia MacKenny's review of Fiona Kirkwood's 'Coats and Coverings' at the NSA - by Frances van Melsen, Curator: Technikon Natal Gallery - This is a fascinating look at art criticism. It begins...
"Art criticism has always been partial and personal,
yet despite the fact that we all know that a review
represents one person's viewpoint only, it does
affect one's own response to the artwork if it is written
by someone who has a sound reputation in both art
theory and practice. Virginia MacKenny is recognised
as an authoritative voice in the "art world".

For this reason I would like to respond to her recent
review of Fiona Kirkwood's exhibition at the NSA
Gallery titled 'Coats and Coverings'. MacKenny
is entitled to her point of view, but the general tone
of the review is dismissive and many statements are
superficial and erroneous. My concern is that it could
be damaging to the artist and that there are other
ways of "seeing" Kirkwood's work. "
Full Review:

Fiona Kirkwood's website and access to her portfolio:

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