Maddie Kirk

Artist Statement

The concept behind my work focuses on ruins, particularly rust that forms on abandoned objects during the ruination process.  I am inspired by the colours and textures that form on different objects due to being exposed to water, air and chemicals.  I consider how different environments affect the way objects corrode, and how neglect and abandonment can affect objects and their surroundings.  Influences include Kitty Chung O’Kane and Sonya White who use rust printing in their practice.

The processes I use are mostly print based, experimenting with different ways of conveying rust through print.  I use saltwater to rust my own pieces of metal, taking a natural process and forcing it in a controlled environment to build a contrast between nature and man-made.  I then use the rust that forms on those particular metal objects to create prints as a way of documenting the ruination process.  As objects corrode, they eventually disintegrate and become unrecognisable in their original form.  I take something temporary and preserve it by creating permanent pieces of art.

Printing rust onto fabric extends the experimental process; a thin fabric such as linen or calico, reflects the delicacy of the rust in the materials it is printed on.  I find alternative ways of incorporating rust into the work itself; rust scrapings mixed with water forms a paint-like substance to create images of the rusted objects I had been studying.  My work heavily relies on the process to drive the outcome to reflect the lack of control surrounding how objects rust and corrode.  The experimental nature of the work reflects the uncertainty of the ruination process itself.

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