I am fundamentally interested in the ‘immense’ and implying this to the viewer. Kirsteen Pieterse
Kirsteen Pieterse is a truly international artist. Born in Ayrshire, Scotland, Pieterse spent her early years in southern Scotland before completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture) at the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland (1989-93). She then moved to England, to undertake a Master of Arts in Architecture at the University of East London, England (1993-94).
In 2001 Pieterse immigrated to Australia in 2001. Once here she continued producing sculpture, exhibited widely and also taught media and design at the Macquarie University and The University of Western Sydney.
In Australia her sculpture was greeted with wide acclaim and earned Pieterse selection in several of Australia’s most prestigious sculpture prizes; Peoples’ Choice Award at the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize (2004), finalist in the National Sculpture Prize & Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia (2005) and a Highly Commended, Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award (2008).
Pieterse’s sculptures and drawings frequently cross over between the disciplines of fine art and architecture. Her drawings are often the starting place for the sculptures, as the drawn structure develops so do the connections to the eventual built form. These built forms resemble scale architectural or engineering models, often employing similar materials and building methods to those seen commonly in the built environment e.g. 19th century constructions, the Brighton Pier and the trestle railway bridges in the west of the United States.
The defining element in these works is graduation of the form into various states of failure and collapse. It’s as if the structures of the forms take on an ‘anti-model’ aesthetic, in that as they progress they become almost like a warning or premonition of the potential demise of the proposed project. This idea of instilling a ‘precariousness’ into the sculptures is inherent to Pieterse’s core concerns about the effects of the built environment is having on our landscapes.
After several years living and working in Australia, Pieterse now lives and works in Hong Kong. Kirsteen is represented by Martin Browne Contemporary Gallery, Sydney.
Design a sculpture using cubes, triangular and rectangular prisms.
Using match sticks, design a structure that can hold 1kg and is aesthetically interesting.
Discuss this quote: I am fundamentally interested in the ‘immense’ and implying this to the viewer. Kirsteen Pieterse
Pieterse had an exhibition titled Holding Unknowns in 2013. View the catalogue and compare the 2013 works to Relinquish II 2009. Discuss the evolution in the sculptures from 2009 – 2013.
IMAGES: Portrait: Kirsteen Pieterse (detail). Martin Browne Gallery. Kirsteen Pieterse Relinquish II 2009. stainless steel form. Edition of 5. 41 x 19 x 20 cm. Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Small Sculpture Collection Purchase. Photo: Clare Lewis