Kirsty Whiten has always been interested in the human form. Her dad a Professor of Psychology and her mum who taught anatomy to medical students were fascinated by their subjects and this was picked up by Whiten.
She is interested in anything to do with humans; their evolution and culture, behaviour and psychology, ancient drives to create and decorate…Whiten loves looking at old artefacts from everywhere.
The series of portraits at ScotandArt.com are perfect examples of where Kirsty Whiten began when looking at her subjects. The poised and very still demeanour these humans expel Whiten explores with her paintbrush. There is more to their portraits than what you first see and each one has a story to tell.
"The paintings are of people I come to know. I draw, photograph and study these people, and later I form compositions from the images I have collected. The details and poses that I choose are what I feel are the most clean, pure and proud. I would like to find something strong or even monumental in the model's appearance. I search for this neat smooth quality for the painting.
It is important that my relationship with them is not entirely comfortable; this gives the pictures their tension from outside the frame. Their pose is made with full knowledge of the complexity of appearance and representation. Their self-consciousness shows them to be contemporary people. They are not naive. The people I choose are wary of their self image, and it can make them appear awkward, but it also gives them a kind of power inside their own portrait."
Education: Sept 1995- June 1999 Edinburgh College of Art BA (hons) Fine Art, 1st class
Sept 1994 - June 1995 Dundee College of further Education Portfolio preparation programme
'Scheming' spring 2002 with Collective Gallery, Edinburgh
Three month residency, with one contact day a week, in Dumbiedykes housing scheme Holyrood, Edinburgh. Collaborating with residents to produce contemporary art for an exhibition.
Miller Homes Young Scottish Artist of the Year 1999
Nine months residency in the Miller Homes' studio in Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris
'Laborhaus 5' November 1999
One week residency in Bedburg Hau Psychiatric Hospital, Cologne, Germany, culminating with a group show on site.
1998 January Exhibition School Prize for photography
1999 George Jackson Memorial Prize For the outstanding painting by a British student produced in the college in 1999
1999 Watt Club Medal Annual award by Heriot-Watt University for academic distiction
1999 Miller Homes Young Scottish Artist of the Year Prize for a Scottish painting graduate: residency in 'La Cite Internationale des Arts', Paris
2000 6eme Salon des Artistes Europeens, Prix du Jury Espace Chateau Landon, 75010 Paris
2001 Edinburgh Visual Arts and Crafts Awards Scheme Grant for studio hire for four months
2002 Scottish Arts Council Assisstance grant Towards preparation for a solo show at the Collective Gallery, Edinburgh
2002 Professional Development Grant Towards a visit and exhibition at RMIT University, Melbourne
2003 Edinburgh Visual Arts and Crafts Awards Scheme Grant for studio hire for three months
The Strange Physiognomy of the Face
June 2003 group show Atelier Expositur, Graz, AustriaKirsty Whiten/ N.I.C.J.O.B.
January 2003 shared show 5th, Guinness Storehouse, DublinHot Pics
November 2002 group show North Edinburgh Arts centre, Edinburgh
Affordable art fair
October 2002 International art fair New York
September 2002 project room Spare room, RMIT University, Melbourne
Berlin Art Forum
October 2002 International art fair Berlin
Right-on mum June 2002 solo show Collective Gallery, Edinburgh
Berlin Art Forum
October 2001 International art fair BerlinKirsty Whiten September 2001 Solo show Tricycle Theatre Gallery, London
AnimalJune 2001 group show Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh
New Street Artists
July 2001 Group show New Street exhibition space, Edinburgh
Rabbit Drawings March 2001 Project Room Collective Gallery, Edinburgh
Two Years On
February 2001 Group show The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh
SSA Contemporary Open November 2000 Group show Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
Spare Room September 2000 project room RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Dress Code August 2000 Group show .1664, Den Haag, Netherlands
Cite Internationale des Arts July 2000 Group show Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France
2000 Group show Damstchach, Wernberg, Austria6eme Salon des Artistes Europeens May 2000 Group show Espace Chateau Landon, Paris, France
New Faces January 2000 Group show The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh
Laborhaus 6 November 1999 Group show Bedburg Hau, Cologne, Germany
Citizen 2000 April 1999 Group show Collective Gallery, Edinburgh
Student Show February 1999 Group show Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh