Michael Kirkbride - A6 Art on a Ukulele Print
Ukulele: Kala Concert
Born in 1959 in County Durham Michael gained a Degree in Fine art from Sunderland Polytechnic. Throughout the 1980s he lived and worked in Newcastle upon Tyne and was a member of The Waterloo Street Artists Studio Group. In 1992 He attended The Royal Academy Schools postgraduate painting course where he received a travel award to visit Mexico to study the Murals of Diego Rivera. In 2014 he was elected curator of the New English Art Club, a collective of artists and curators who teach various forms of art, with whom he exhibits on a regular basis. He also currently teaches at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Michael delves into an extremely inwards process when he creates his work. Often with surreal and absurdist twists, his works often reveal an excited subconscious, one that is engaged with the movement of the world. It has been said that Above all, his works are supposition; they seek to make visible narratives that exist in the minds eye. Through observation, recollection and his imagination Michael begins with a drawing. He draws impulsively on whatever comes to hand, later piecing together these fragments into notebooks. The notebooks become like a documentation of a paintings evolution. Michaels paintings are phenomenal in their composition and structure. Often of crowded scenes and clambering figures creating bundles of shapes, disjointed and chaotic imagery. This chaos is balanced by use of subdued colours which he creates often in egg tempera. He collides this ancient medium with modern life scenes, so that his works are brimming with humour and pathos. Each painting tells a story for instance of guests at a dinner party, life drawing classes or car park traffic jams. Through taking these relatable scenes and projecting them with honest craftsmanship, there is a personal element to his work wherein we feel we get to know him and ourselves a little bit better.
Artist statement: The image on my ukulele was inspired by teaching experiences with students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) where I am a drawing tutor. The rituals and gestures that occurred when drawing activities took place offered exciting pictorial possibilities. The geometric backdrop of easels and boards provided a direct counterpoint to the movement of students within their zones of concentration.