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Blog - Fae Kilburn

Life as an emerging disabled artist


My name is Fae Kilburn and this is my second blog, I am aiming to write one once a month, documenting my experiences as an emerging disabled artist.

On March 22nd I was given the opportunity to do a presentation at the Tate Exchange along with the other three Emergence recipients.

My presentation was about my life, the barriers I’ve faced and how my work has developed.

For the first time in my life I was completely open about my disabilities, from my recovery from temporary brain damage, to life as a partially sighted person and the physical limitations I have because of my Marfan syndrome and my determination throughout all this to continue to create art and find new ways to create it around my ever changing disabilities.

I now realise my disabilities give me a unique perspective on the world and my art enables me to express this.

I don’t normally talk about my health because it’s a degenerative condition and each day is different, I prefer to focus on all the positive things in my life and put any negative experiences into my art practice so that something positive comes out of these painful experiences.

black and white textural image

Black & white Collagraph © Fae Kilburn

Over the past few years I’ve meet some really inspiring disabled practicing artists, who have kindly shared their knowledge, experience and encouraged me and I felt if I was open during my Tate presentation then people who are in a similar position to me would find it easier to relate to me and understand my work.

The presentation was a great experience for me, I learnt a lot from the day and it made me think about the scale of my work. Im always being asked to create large work but this is not always physically possible for me but after seeing my work up on the screen during the presentation I’m even more determined to get back to working large scale, I now feel a lot of my work lends its self to this imposing scale.

During March I’ve also been in Derby print studio having 1-2-1 printmaking tuition from Kevin Pickering, to combine existing skills and help develop new ones. I worked on combining more texture into my practice and I also hoped to create intense colour prints but I ended up adding subtle colour and creating lots of black and white prints.

I think my passion for the German expressionist period is obviously very deeply imbedded, also as a partially sighted artist I’m drawn to high contrast work. Let’s see if colour naturally makes its way into my work throughout this year or will I be destined to have a minimal pallet forever?

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Alan Hopwood
1 year ago

Hi Fae, it was great reading about your ideas and influences, as I also have a degenerative condition and struggle to be consistent in my ability to create artworks (and my blogs for DAO). I don’t think I share your minimal palette but I’m trying to produce work with less clutter.
Keep up the blogs, I look forward to seeing where your work takes you.

Fae Kilburn
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Hopwood

Hi Alan
Thanks for the nice comments and your encouragement to keep blogging.
I’ve just read your blog and like you my work is inspired by my condition.
I look forward to seeing what else you create this year

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