An interview with ISoA teacher and artist Michael Kirkbride.

An interview with ISoA teacher and artist Michael Kirkbride.

ISoA: Hi Mick. How long have you worked at Insight School of Art?
MK: This is my fourth year working at Insight School of Art.

ISoA: What classes do you teach?
MK: I teach Life Drawing , Watercolour and a range of beginners classes including Acrylic, Oil, Watercolour and Drawing.

ISoA: How do you balance teaching with your own painting practice?
MK: I try not to do more than two and a half days teaching per week ,which leaves me the equivalent to paint . Most of my teaching is at ISoA but I also teach at RADA, the NEAC Drawing School (which I curate) and the Royal Academy Friends life drawing sessions. Weekends tend to be family time although I will occasionally paint on Saturday or Sunday depending upon deadlines.

ISoA: Where have you exhibited so far this year?
MK: I have exhibited as part of the Royal Academy Summer Show, the New English Art Club annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries and a series of small watercolours at the Avondale Gallery.

ISoA: Have you learnt anything new since being involved at Insight?
MK: I have learnt that there is always more to learn about the things I thought I knew enough about.

ISoA: What training have you received?
MK: I studies at Sunderland Polytechnic for a BA in Fine Art and then at the Royal Academy schools on the MA course.

ISoA: What kind of art do you create and what is it about?
MK: I make oil paintings , watercolours and egg tempera pieces. The subjects are inspired by people, objects, styling and gesture. They oscillate between observation and imagination and are conjured from the minds eye. The human figure is the dominant structural motif. As an antidote to invention I will from time to time replenish formal skills in looking and recording by working Plein Air with watercolour and oil.

ISoA: What artists have inspired you and influenced your work?
MK: The compositional dexterity of Stanley Spencer and Edward Burra continue to inspire me. I am also influenced by the Paintings of Jorg Immendorff for their ambition and content.

ISoA: When did art become an important part of your life?
MK: I have always drawn since early childhood – its more a case of art choosing you, rather than you it!

ISoA: Which is your favourite gallery?
MK: I love the Estorik Collection of modern Italian Art in Canonbury Square London, also the new Victoria Miro Gallery in Islington which is the epitome of urban cool.

ISoA: Who do you think the most influential artists of today are?
MK: I think Michael Craig Martin as a teacher and mentor. He launched the careers of many of the YBA’s. Peter Doig for adding something new and revelatory to the language of painting. Neo Rauch and many of the figurative painters to emerge from Leipzig. Bill Viola for elevating video art to a higher echelon. Damian Hirst for creating many seminal works; the most prominent of which was his shark piece. Not since Duchamp’s urinal has an artwork made such an impact . Anslem Kieffer is still considered a giant of contemporary art and Cindy Sherman for blurring the boundaries between art, film and photography.

ISoA: What factors make a good painting in your personal opinion?
MK: Content, context and intentionality are the three key elements that any serious artwork should have. Style and language are connected to these. Beyond that its a question of personal taste. An artwork usually exists somewhere between what the artist intended and what the viewer can bring. I think a good painting should above all make you think about the world in a different way, or move you emotionally and spiritually .

ISoA: Thank you Mick. Brilliant!

Pandemonium at Putney (55x37in) Oil on canvas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *