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Reflections: A solo show by Kylie Rusk

Kylie Rusk is an Artist residing in Muriwai, Auckland with her husband and two children. In addition to her art, Kylie is also studying Interior Design.  

We caught up with Kylie ahead of her next solo art exhibition ‘Reflections’ at GREY from March 17.   

Q: Tell us about yourself and what do you do? 

A: I completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bahelor of Arts from the University of Auckland.  I then worked in the corporate world as a town planner for 10 years before becoming a parent to Elsie and Lachy. I continued my love of painting and lithography in my downtime until two years ago I delved right into it.

Q: When did you realise that you wanted to become an artist?

A:  I didn’t as such, it just evolved over time, it is a passion that has always been there.

Q: Tell us about your upcoming exhibition

A: For this exhibition, I am continuing to explore my love for the New Zealand landscape. Using lithographic print and paint I explore the subtle variation of colour, light and form. I am highly interested in what the landscape holds for the individual in terms of memory, connection, and a sense of being.

Q: Where do you work?

A: Painting at the kitchen table or at my husband’s office desk at home wasn’t quite working out, so last year we modified an area of our sleep out with a pin bord to create a small space for me to paint.  It’s small, but has wonderful natural light. I can have my mess in one end of the room and the office can be at the other end.

For lithography, I currently hire a studio space in Whangarei at the Te Kowhai Print Trust – so I have weekends away printing. I have bought a lithography studio but it is in storage until I can find the right space closer to home to have it.

Q: How did you get into lithography?

A: All second-year students at Elam had to choose a field they want to study, and I chose printmaking, which included a 6-week lithography course. At this stage I did’t think much of lithography as it is a long and labour-intensive process, I much prefered screen printing at the time.

Towards the end of the year I was deciding if I wanted to continue within the printmaking department or change to studying design. My lecturer Alexis Neal saw something in me and motivated me to combine screen printing and lithography. She got me started on one image and I have never looked back. I absolutely love lithography and find it such a meditative process.

Q.  How did you get into painting?

A. I took up art class in fourth form, and it quickly became a constant focus and hobby. It was all I wanted to be during my lunch breaks and weekends. I had a wonderful teacher in seventh form, Geoff Harris from Tikipunga High School who gave me confidence with experimentation and also showed me various techniques, some of which I still use today.

I enjoy both painting and lithography, but I feel I have honed my craft more so with lithography.   What I really like about using both mediums is that they influence each other.

Q:  Did your upbringing influence you as an artist?

A: My mum and dad are very creative people. My mum is a keen sewer, knitter, gardener and renovator while my dad moulded a beautiful dairy farm across 35 years. I was constantly surrounded by my parents creating in their fields.  

I was encouraged at an early age to follow my passion by my parents which led me to change schools in my final year of high school to a school that was renound for it’s art teacher and his results in getting their students into Elam School of Fine Arts – which was my goal. The flow on effects from this was that I was accepted into Elam and from there have become the artist I am today.

Q: What inspires you?

A:  Everywhere!  Living in Muriwai, I’m surrounded by nature and the ever changing light. I always have my phone on me while out walking so I don’t miss a certain light or cloud formation.

Interior and seasonal trends definitely inspire me too – often subconsciouly.

Q: What other creative hobbies do you enjoy?

A: I love gardening (I get that from my mum),  I’m still very much learning about plants and where to put them – I love getting outside and being a part of nature, hours can go buy without knowing. I also love doing any sort of rennovation around the house – I just taught myself to tile the splash back at home.

Q: What does the rest of 2020 look like for you?

A:  Right now I’m working on some new lithographs and paintings for my upcoming solo exhibition at ‘Grey’. After the exhibition, I will need a little bit of time out to rest and reflect on the works produced. I have already started collating inspiration and ideas for new works post the exhibition. 

Later in the year I have a group show planned with Seed Gallery – an annual event I love to be part of.

And in addition to my art, I am studying a diploma of Interior Design at Unitec plus have two kids to keep me on my toes! 

Reflections – solo show by Kylie Rusk

When: March 17 – March 28

Where: Grey, 37 Scanlan Street, Grey Lynn, Auckland, www.thegreyplace.co.nz

For more information visit: www.kylierusk.co.nz

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