Kirsty Budge The Doing artist statement
You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing. That is what I know.
— Amy Poehler, Yes Please, 2014 (Pan Macmillan Australia) p.15
This new body of work evolved following a three month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. The residency (awarded through the Art Gallery of New South Wales) came with a live-in studio providing a new and intimate proximity to my painting practice. The time in Paris was the beginning of a year long exploration into the collision of self and place.
Uprooted and emptied by unforeseen life changes, my return to Melbourne set in motion The Doing. The lived-in intimacy of the Cité’s studio space revealed itself to be a precursor for a new way of living once home. For myself as an artist I prefer a working space to be a solitary secure place with some natural light and for my studio practice to be sustainable these qualities also needed to lend themselves to a functional, uplifting living space.
Enter the Quamby Building — my new home — a charming Modernist heritage-listed apartment block in Toorak, designed by architect Roy Grounds.
The assumption could be made that Roy Grounds was a big believer in The Doing. As an architect he cared about what people were actually doing in their lives and studied each new client’s living habits in order to create a functional space.
He said, “Architecture to me grows out of living a full life and of understanding life and human beings. Any building which is a creative building is a personal expression of a point of view. Domestic architecture is essentially a portrait.”
The north-facing light, the wall of floor to ceiling windows, the long white painted brick wall in the main room, promoted the fluid nature of the home/studio and provided space to a new understanding of “one’s own time”.
The work then shifted into a meditation on the intimacy of space and the reimagining of self. The composition of the seven vertical paintings mimic the structure of the windows (apparently counting to eight is too hard) and the colour palette is in direct relation to the natural light and the building itself. This apartment has proven integral as not only a physical work space but as a place to observe, listen, to be vulnerable and accountable.
The paintings in this exhibition incorporate pop culture and art historical references, my range of mediums, influences and obsessions. These images and ideas are synthesised with personal documentation of daily life, while exploring questions, feelings, memories, experiences and realisations through painting processes.
— Kirsty Budge, 2019
Kirsty would like to sincerely thank Megan Sprague, Ash Lawson, Gwynneth Budge, Ro Noonan, Luke Parker, Gemma Avery, Miriam Brown, Alicia Stafford, Jen Cloher, Brodie Lancaster, Julia Gorman, Ben Fountain and the AGNSW.
In loving memory of Antonia Tatchell.