Nicola Kirkaldy

1983, United Kingdom

Graduated in Fine Art in 2015

Education and work experience

Whilst studying at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (2003–2007) I was occupied with how I could adopt existing shapes and phenomena and let them stand on their own in my conceptions. After graduating from the KABK I continued my art practice and initiated several duo and collaborative projects nationally and internationally.

To provide for myself, I worked as a house painter and did general repairs. These painting jobs influenced my artistic work and inspired me to experiment with various paints, fillers and kits on wood and paper. I found that these traditional techniques that I learned could provide a key to what I was engaged with at the academy. To continue this way of working I mastered more conventional techniques like masonry and plastering.

These jobs also taught me to value the conditions of materials and to appreciate the traditional applications and skills required. This made me realize that I wanted to engage in art in a more scientific way. In 2014 I took up the Minor in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at the University of Amsterdam and completed it with great gratification. Extending my knowledge of materials and the accompanying crafts has given me a new perspective on handling them.

Research Question

My interest lies in shapes that arrange themselves through the predomination of act, material and technique. These are factors that I want to be visible in the work and have the descriptive function. To achieve this I use different conventional techniques — techniques that are common to scrutinize and give the viewer a point of recognition, allowing the emphasis to be on material and technique.

I see the works that I have produced lately as first drafts that have yet to be elaborated. At this time I wish to concentrate particularly on plastering and welding, and building constructions with functional and/or practical purposes.

I hope, whilst focussing on these techniques, questions such as the following will arise: What is the value of an object and what principles should an object meet? What in the process is consciously and unconsciously created? These questions will be covered in everything that I produce and could perhaps give me an answer to what my contribution within my work exactly is, and how I can continue the development of my work.