Where did you grow up? How did it shape you into becoming an artist?
I grew up in Melbourne, but it might be more relevant to say I grew up with some terrific illustrated books. I was always attracted to fantasy illustration, and wanted to do what those artists could do.
Did you choose your art subject or did it choose you?
There’s often a feeling of the subject choosing me. I’m also a writer, and the feeling is very similar – a sense of something calling, ‘Go on, make me!’
What is art for you, what does it do for you?
It brings joy in various ways – through expressing emotion, creating a character, making a pleasing shape.
How do you make your work?
I make my work out of wax or other material and cast it at foundries using the lost wax process.
What is it that informs your work and how is it expressed in your art?
I’m inspired quite a bit by antiques and old toys – that quaint or perhaps creepy thing your grandmother had in her house. I like to make curious and nostalgic objects.
How do you feel that your art fits into the world at large?
I like to think it fits into the good old tradition of someone sitting down with clay or bone and making a figure or creature – it’s just that instinct to make things.
Who is your favourite artist?
If I had to choose just one, Beth Carter.
How has your practice changed over time?
Moving into 3D was the big thing for me. I found my artistic feet when I started making sculpture. It just seems to suit the way my brain works.
How would you like people to view and interact with your art?
However they’re moved to. I’m happy when people want to touch a sculpture and enjoy it as a tactile object. For me there’s a blurred line between the art piece and the doll or toy – they’re all characters. And I admit that I fantasise about my work turning up on Antiques Roadshow in the distant future!
CIPI will be showing her work in the Castlemaine State Festival Open Studios program
Dates & Times : 17 – 19 & 25 – 26 March 10am – 6pm
22 Preshaw St, Castlemaine
For more information about Kirsten Bishop’s work visit her website.