and Lifelines by Kim Anderson
I’ve never asked myself why I draw and make paintings. I was always inspired by and felt a lot of passion for music and art, so I found myself just naturally drawn to contributing to that in my own way. I never really considered myself to be an artist and I would draw randomly rather than dedicating myself fully to a discipline or concerning myself with exhibiting. The main motivating factor was the simple pleasure of putting shapes and colour in a balance that was pleasing to me. At first what I drew was mostly autobiographical, I would draw the things around me and the people I knew, then my work became more and more abstract.
In 2011 I was put into a psychiatric facility, and just before this happened I had set all my sketchbooks on fire. Afterwards I regretted doing so and continued to draw and paint, but this time all that was coming out of me were drawings of faces. I would do something different from time to time, but it was mostly heads. I can’t say why, but it was very enjoyable and I never lost interest in doing it. I never plan a drawing. It’s all spontaneous and often it’s just about putting lines down in an intuitive way, then sometimes I refine them and add more colour or shapes until I’m satisfied. That’s not to say that my works have no meaning behind them – I think that there is a subtle subconscious revelation in most of my art.
Creating art for me is not a lifestyle option, or a means of employment, or a social statement, and I wouldn’t call it a hobby either. Being a great fan of art and making art is a method of self discovery, a kind of indefinable pleasure comparable to meditation, and it is very healing. But, it doesn’t answer anything for any long period. I could never do one picture that sums it all up because life isn’t like that, it always changes and so therefore I will always continue to make art.
“Lifelines” is a series of large-scale, highly detailed portraits of the hands of people very close to me. Our hands are in constant contact with the rest of the world. They are tough yet sensitive, dexterous and yet somehow vulnerable, and highly demonstrative of complex emotions. Through constant wear they bear the inscriptions of our life experience, our passions and fears and memories layered over one another like a palimpsest.
Rather than studying the body in its entirety, my focus is narrow, even microscopic. In intimate detail I explore the contours of the skin, closely examining the lines, creases, patterns and scars that are unique to each individual. The surface of the skin constantly changes from the moment we are born: stretching, shriveling, creasing and cracking as we move through the stages of our lives, it serves as a topographical map of everything that has ever happened to us. Through my drawing I search this map, this landscape, discovering the precious memories that linger in the fingertips, and the momentarily forgotten pain of loss in the creases of the knuckles. Examining at such close range, there is infinite capacity to abstract and interpret, to reveal one’s true and unique character, and even trace a map of their life history.”
Kim Anderson is an artist, writer and curator who works mainly with drawing, projection and installation projects. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at the University of Ballarat Arts Academy, and was awarded a scholarship to study a Master of Fine Art at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Since then she has been awarded residencies around the world in Scotland, Italy, Japan and Australia.
Kim has been a finalist in a number of awards including the Rick Amor Drawing Prize, the Hazelhurst Art Award, the Swan Hill Print and Drawing Award, and the Agendo Emerging Artist Award, and in 2010 she was awarded an ArtStart Grant from the Australia Council. Kim is currently curator of the Skin Gallery.