Mixed media artist-maker Kirsty O’Connor was born in Jersey 1956 and trained in textile design and psychotherapy in Bradford and Leeds in the 1980’s. She has been making art ever since, in a wide range of media and settings–including designing for a travelling circus and several years as a community artist for an international psychology organisation.
Kirsty’s current practise is primarily in ceramics –making smoke fired ‘voluptuous vessels’– and creating and teaching handmade books. These are very different disciplines but she approaches them in a similar way, allowing the sensual qualities of the materials to guide her.
Kirsty loves teaching handmade books because she finds it an art form accessible to virtually everyone regardless of skills or experience, which has almost infinite possibilities. Ever since she ran away from home at the age of 8 –equipped only with ‘The Big Book of Things to Do and Make’– she has believed in making things! Exercising one’s creativity engenders feelings of empowerment, pleasure and wellbeing and is a great antidote to stress.
Kirsty also writes and paints. Recent work includes an installation based on autobiographical writing and self-portraiture created at An Talla Solais in Ullapool and further developed and exhibited in Edinburgh in the summer of 2010.
In her work Kirsty explores embodiment, autobiography, sexuality and the divine feminine –inspired and informed by pre-history, mythology, feminism, movement work and motherhood.