The landscape has been a constant theme in her practice for over twenty years and her images are intuitive responses to her surroundings. Inspiration for her paintings, such as the two series ‘Gippsland Twilight’ 2008-12 and ‘Brunswick East’ 2012-14, is drawn from explorations of country roads and suburban backstreets. At the end of the day, when the light is fading, the landscape becomes indistinguishable and quiet vistas are punctuated by the glow of car headlights and occasional street lights. Kirrily’s works are about capturing small moments of sublime in the everyday, inspired by the delicate transience of a dandelion, evening light through a car window and memories of a place.
Born in Newcastle, Australia, Kirrily studied at Canberra and Glasgow Schools of Art, graduating with a BAVA (Hons) in 1997. She also completed a Curatorial Masters degree at the University of Melbourne in 2003. Kirrily was awarded the Harold Wright Scholarship to study the prints & drawings collection of the British Museum, London in 2005. In 2017 Kirrily completed a Diploma of Law (Collection Management) through the Institute of Art & Law, UK.
Kirrily has been exhibiting since 1995; with curated exhibitions including Landmarks, Counihan Gallery, Melbourne 2016, I Spy: Windows and Doors in Art, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, NSW 2014; Shelved, Dear Patti Smith, Melbourne 2011; The Monobrow Show, Hell Gallery, Melbourne 2008 and Depth Of Field, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne 2003. She has also held regular commercial exhibitions at Gallerysmith, Melbourne and Beaver Galleries Canberra since 2001, and her work is held in numerous private collections, as well as the collections of Australian National University, ACT; Latrobe Regional Gallery, VIC; Moreland City Council, Melbourne, VIC; Newcastle Art Gallery, NSW; Warrnambool Art Gallery, VIC; and Wollongong University, NSW.
Kirrily has concurrently worked in the Australian arts sector since 1995 and was Curator – Collection, then Collection Manager at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) in Melbourne from 2005-2018. She was a Board Member of National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS Victoria) from 2011 to 2015, including Chair 2014-15. Her curatorial projects include 15 Minutes of Fame: 20 Years of Pop Prints, National Gallery of Victoria, International, 2004; Extra-Aesthetic: 25 Views of the Monash University Collection, MUMA, 2005; Reverie, 2006,Materiality, 2007 and Fictions, 2008 at the Switchback Gallery, Monash University, Gippsland Campus; Premonitions: The Monash University Collection 1961-2007, McClelland Gallery+Sculpture Park, 2008; Richard Lewer: Nobody Likes a Show Off, MUMA, 2009; The Devil Had a Daughter, MUMA, 2011; Self Conscious: Contemporary Portraiture, MUMA, 2012; Nocturne, Arts Project Australia, Melbourne 2013; and co-curator for Linda Marrinon: Figure Sculpture MUMA 2015.
For lots of images of art and daily life that inspire, go to Kirrily’s instagram account #kirrilyh
B&W photo by Zaeem Burq 2008