A Day in the Life of an Artist: Fae Kilburn

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Next up in our series of features on A Day in the Life of an Artist, Fae Kilburn remains productive during this time of lockdown, continuing to work on her MA.

Normally I would be creating accessible art workshops and doing my MA at university but during this strange period of isolation and uncertainty that we all find ourselves in I have turned to my art, it takes my mind off not being able to see family etc.

Since March I’ve also been trying to work on my MA from home, initially I found this a challenge but after the first week of frustration, I embraced the idea of creating art with limited resources and the challenges that come with displaying my work at home.

I’m fortunate to have a garden and this has become my studio and gallery space. I love the peace and quiet of working outside. I’m not expending precious energy on travel anymore, this energy now goes into creating my art.

7.30am
My day starts and after eating etc I go to my studio. l had a race against time to create these two sculptures, I was worried the plaster, fibrocem and inks would dry before I had finished, but all was well and I’m happy with the result.

Etched sculptures in the garden. Image Fae Kilburn

They were inspired by the materials within architecture I struggle to navigate but it’s evolved into a piece that’s inspired by social distancing, they stand 2 meters apart.

11am
I moved onto the next piece whilst my sculptures were drying, finishing off my 12ft print installation, with repeating negative words.

Cascading words installation close up. Image Fae Kilburn

Each word had been sent to me for this piece by anonymous disabled people. I repeated these words because as disabled people we often have a life time of negativity, for some like me the negativity comes from strangers, for others the negativity comes from home.

The print hangs from the ceiling and runs down the wall, it folds back on its self and then runs down the wall and piles on the floor. I created a video of this installation and layered audio recordings of the negative and positive words, to give a sense of a life time of negativity but showing how we remain positive and resilient.

1.30pm
I stopped for lunch, during this time I caught up with other students from BCU we have been supporting each other via social media, a support network that I have never experienced before in an educational environment

2pm
I start installing and videoing my silkscreen tissue paper prints, I’ve been videoing these in different locations for two weeks, on a windy day the words seem to dance aggressively,

Still image from video, Sillkscreen print on tissue paper on washing line. Image Fae Kilburn

When filmed in slow motion there was something delicate and beautiful about them, but when I filmed them in the trees they became even more negative.

Still image from video, silkscreen print on tissue paper in trees. Image Fae Kilburn

And reminded me and others of dog shit bags and rubbish abandoned in trees, this reflected many of the words on the print, (abandoned, shit, unloved, forgotten), but today when I filmed it from below all you could see behind the then crinkled print was the sky, it reminded me of clouds and I felt a sense of freedom from these negative words.

Still image from video silkscreen print on tissue paper in the sky. Image Fae Kilburn

2.30pm
Teams workshop, the print technician at university has recreated a drop in online workshop session where we all make our work together and catch up just like we would at uni, so I worked on some Collagraphs and some sketches.

3.30pm
I needed to create a base, for my perspex prints, I embedded it in cherry wood, it took a few attempts to get it to sit in the wood correctly.

Silkscreen printed perspex, embedded in Cherry wood. Image Fae Kilburn

Others were embedded in plaster.

Silkscreen printed perspex embedded in plaster. Image Fae Kilburn

This piece combines the concepts from both bodies of work, the difficulties with architecture and the impact negative words have on us..

5pm
I go for a for a walk, it’s important for my health but I know take my camera and prints and find new places to inspire my art.

Fae with tripod & camera. Image Fae Kilburn