In­flu­enced largely by na­ture, Kir­rily An­der­son pro­duces serenely beau­ti­ful works in her Chiltern stu­dio and work­shop space.

North East Living Magazine - - Contents - words Kylie Wil­son pho­tos Marc Bongers, Kir­rily An­der­son

In­flu­enced largely by na­ture, Kir­rily An­der­son pro­duces serenely beau­ti­ful works in her Chiltern stu­dio and work­shop space.

WALK­ING into Kir­rily An­der­son’s light and airy ex­hi­bi­tion space, si­t­u­ated on Chiltern’s his­toric main street, you are im­me­di­ately drawn into the stun­ning de­tail of her work. The room is dom­i­nated by a serene im­age of a woman and bird, which fea­tures stun­ning minute de­tails when seen up close. Her other art­works – and a col­lec­tion of books – line the walls, and tucked away at her com­puter is an ever chang­ing mood board filled with in­spir­ing colours, art and tex­tures.

Her artis­tic jour­ney has come full cir­cle since her child­hood in the small NSW town of Nar­ran­dera. Hail­ing from a cre­ative fam­ily, Kir­rily em­braced any­thing to do with draw­ing, arts and crafts, en­cour­aged by par­ents An­nette and Ross.

“I was al­ways a re­ally cre­ative kid, loved any­thing to do with colour­ing in, or mak­ing things,” she said.

“Mum would even bribe me with pen­cils and tex­tas, just be­cause she knew that’s what I loved the most. They were very sup­port­ive of cre­ativ­ity. And I’ve al­ways loved let­ter­ing and type.”

While cre­ative pur­suits were put on the back­burner dur­ing sec­ondary school, they flour­ished when she moved to Mel­bourne to study graphic art. Later, she free­lanced in graphic de­sign for “quite a while” but felt the work did not of­fer as much of a cre­ative out­let as she’d hoped. Af­ter a few years she be­gan to work more and more on her artis­tic pieces in her own time, hold­ing her first ex­hi­bi­tion in 2009.

Af­ter her first ex­hi­bi­tion she took an in­ter­est in street art and started work­ing in the medium of paste ups un­der the moniker I & the Oth­ers. Even­tu­ally she tired of ur­ban life and, along­side part­ner Brad Hunt, whom she has known since child­hood, moved to Chiltern ear­lier this year to es­tab­lish Pa­per Trail Stu­dio. Her par­ents, now re­tired and liv­ing in Al­bury, also lived and worked in Pore­punkah for about a decade. “I knew the North East rea­son­ably well and I loved it,” Kir­rily said. “I love that all the towns are rea­son­ably close to­gether, I love that there’s such great food and wine and lots of events al­ways hap­pen­ing. i love the moun­tains and Brad likes the flat land with the big rivers, so Chiltern was right in be­tween.”

Kir­rily’s artis­tic inspiration came from a num­ber of sources, but pre­dom­i­nantly de­picts beauty in hu­mans and in na­ture. “In my art, I try to cap­ture what I call sub­tle emo­tion,” she said. “My work I usu­ally de­scribe as still and re­flec­tive, and I’m re­ally in­spired by na­ture and the colour pal­ette found in na­ture. The fe­male form is al­ways in my work, as well as an­i­mals.”

Work­ing with fine­liner pens and pa­per, and us­ing wa­ter­colours or coloured inks to add colour, Kir­rily also scales up her work dig­i­tally on her com­puter when re­quired. Much of the de­tail in her work is cre­ated us­ing the metic­u­lous process of stip­pling.

“What­ever work I am do­ing al­ways has an el­e­ment of painstak­ing rep­e­ti­tion,” she said.

“For me, that’s my time out zone. In a sense, it’s al­most like a form of med­i­ta­tion.”

While known for her draw­ings, Kir­rily also ded­i­cates time to mak­ing paste ups – ephemeral art lit­er­ally pasted on walls. She is at­tracted to paste ups pre­cisely be­cause they are not made to last, and be­cause the sur­faces they are placed on, and the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment, be­come part of the art­work. >>

She has taken part in many ex­hi­bi­tions and col­lab­o­ra­tions through­out the years, but two col­lab­o­ra­tions count among her favourite projects. One of her favourite projects has been an im­mer­sive in­stal­la­tion with Mel­bourne artist Yan­dell Walton, en­ti­tled In­no­cence of the Apoc­a­lypse, which com­bined paste ups, pro­jec­tions, sculp­ture, sound, per­for­mance and more and was part of the 2013 Mel­bourne Fringe Fes­ti­val.

“We de­cided to cre­ate a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic world in an empty build­ing,” Kir­rily said.

“It was a re­ally great ex­pe­ri­ence, peo­ple re­ally loved it and re­sponded well to it.”

An­other cher­ished project took place at Ab­bots­ford Con­vent, where she cre­ated por­traits of two dif­fer­ent past res­i­dents of the grounds – a young in­dige­nous girl and the teenage self of the then 93 year old Kath­leen Kelly, who spent a num­ber of her teenage years at the or­phan­age there. Kath­leen went on to have a large fam­ily, and Kir­rily said the beau­ti­ful thing about that project was that it brought all of (Kath­leen’s) fam­ily to­gether.

“That was a re­ally nice re­al­i­sa­tion of what art can do,” she said. The project was a re­sult of her re­ceiv­ing Ab­bots­ford Con­vent’s Spir­i­tous Award in 2015.

Kir­rily has been ex­cited to wit­ness the growth in street art, in­clud­ing Be­nalla’s Wall to Wall fes­ti­val.

“It’s great for com­mu­ni­ties to have pub­lic art, it livens up the streetscape, it cre­ates a talk­ing point,” she en­thused, not­ing things are re­ally start­ing to hap­pen in Chiltern. Both she and Brad are lov­ing the small town com­mu­nity vibe.

“Be­ing close to a na­tional park was a re­ally big plus for me, be­cause my work’s re­ally in­flu­enced by na­ture, and the box iron­barks are just beau­ti­ful,” she said.

“I love that the com­mu­nity’s so sup­port­ive of Pa­per Trail Stu­dios be­ing here. I love be­ing in a small town where ev­ery­one’s so friendly, and just be­ing so close to get­ting out into the bush. There’s a lot of pos­i­tive en­ergy about get­ting things hap­pen­ing in Chiltern and I’m happy to be a part of that.”

Cu­rat­ing ex­hi­bi­tions is an­other of Kir­rily’s cre­ative out­lets, and she has cu­rated both in Aus­tralia and over­seas.

“I think it’s a healthy way to make a cre­ative liv­ing, to get in­volved in dif­fer­ent things,” she said.

“It’s re­ally en­joy­able work­ing with other artists, and other artists’ work, and hav­ing a vi­sion and putting that to­gether. I love work­ing with spa­ces as well. Cu­rat­ing is a great way to work with a space and make it look a cer­tain way.”

Kir­rily said that it was im­por­tant for lo­cal artists, busi­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties alike to sup­port each other.

“We all need to sup­port each other so that we can all keep do­ing what we love,” she said.

Kir­rily does reg­u­lar work­shops in Chiltern and fur­ther afield, and hopes to fos­ter cre­ativ­ity in VCE stu­dents next year with tu­tor­ing.

“It was re­ally im­por­tant for me to have a space that was open to other cre­atives… i’ve got a lot to of­fer young peo­ple who want to get into the arts,” she said.

Kir­rily’s work can be seen on­line at or at Pa­per Trail Stu­dio, lo­cated at 7 Con­ness Street, Chiltern. It can also be found at Manyung Gallery in Malvern, Sor­rento and Mount El­iza and also On Stone in South Mel­bourne.

CRE­ATE / Some of Kir­rily An­der­son’s artis­tic works.

Pa­per Trail Stu­dio is lined with items that spark inspiration, and a home to Claude the res­cue cat.

Black Cock­a­too, one of Kir­rily’s mixed me­dia works, and ( far right) a paste up, The An­i­mal Lover.

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