In Conversation With: Kirsten Lovelock

In landscapes and worlds that appear far flung, Kirsten Lovelock gives us a band of brides, angels and saints.

How would you describe your artwork?

I am a symbolist painter, and my works are usually people situated in landscapes. The landscapes are from where I have lived – both in New Zealand, particularly the South Island, and internationally.

When did you first fall in love with art?

My first memory is of being given some paints and painting a picture for my favourite primary school teacher, Miss Brown. I used the whole tube of red to make apples on the trees and to ensure that they stood in relief. I love modern art, and visiting modern art galleries is my favourite thing to do, wherever I am.

Is there anything special about your studio?

I am based in Wellington, New Zealand. My studio, along with several other studios, is in the Trades Hall, a historic building with strong links to the trade union movement. I also paint at home when I feel like it.

How long have you been practising as an artist?

I have taken a number of formal art courses since I was a teenager, and I have been exhibiting my art for more than 20 years.

What does a typical day in the studio involve?

I don’t have a typical day; I paint when I want to, which is most days.

What is your subject matter, and where do you find inspiration?

I paint people in their landscapes and sometimes other worlds, and I am most motivated when painting to a theme. I am a social anthropologist and tend to see the world through this lens, so my paintings are definitely shaped by this way of seeing.

What materials do you use?

My preference is acrylic on board. I love using acrylic because it dries quickly, and I can layer with it. I prefer painting on board but sometimes paint on canvas.

What are you currently working on?

I have been working on a number of paintings, exploring femininity, brides, angels and saints.

If you could add one artwork to your collection, what would it be and why?

The Evening by Sidney Nolan. I love the galloping horse on a hunt in an alien landscape, the romantic evening sky and the dark underlying reason behind the ride.

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