Transition ShopSpace    

Kirsty Buchanan

3-24 December 2010


As a child, Buchanan found The Joy of Sex on her parents’ bookshelf and secretly copied the illustrations, by hand, to share with her school friends. The illicit material was found and the resulting shame and embarrassment, a universal yet unmentionable experience, is what drives her practice.

Conceptually driven by the notion of shame and socially constructed boundaries, she is interested in how we internalise the judgmental gaze of society to the extent that it affects our unconscious actions. She focuses on the process of making marks in the confidence that no one will ever see them, or that they can be completely erased. Working, without an audience in mind, allows her to be as explicit as she wants, without being judged. She makes drawings, which are 'rude' and then physically erases them. The challenge of making the erased drawings visible has led her to film the process, where she is concealed, but allows glimpses of hair, or the shadow of a hand. Anonymity is important. She is, by nature, a socially constructed creature and the fact that she is ashamed is imperative. She uses the process of drawing as a method of exorcising her own socially constructed neuroses. In re-counting her experiences, there is a circulation of embarrassment and a passing-on of shame.

Buchanan graduated with MA Fine Art, Central St Martins, London in 2008. She was a prize-winner at the Exeter Contemporary Open, Exeter Phoenix Gallery, Exeter, 2010. Exhibitions include ‘Real Dolls’, Transition Gallery, London, 2010 and ‘Facebook’, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London.