KIRSTEN BASKETT

Kirsten Baskett works from her studio in SE London.


My work is concerned with time and memory, traces and absence.  I use obsolete technology as my impetus; typewriters, cameras, audio and visual equipment, which has had a close human association and has developed a patina or emotional charge through prolonged use.

The memories we hold are fated to become selective, fragmented and faded, so this work is in part, a reflection of the need to capture and preserve the memory. Constructing and eroding the image using solar-plate etching, I create a suspended moment, which floats between a conscious reality of the familiar and a subconscious dream world, of uncertainty. I am interested in the sense of absence and also the trace of a human presence that is left behind. This ‘Einfuhlung’ effect affirms the emotion carried by the object and I strive to draw it out through several stages. Each is devised to dissolve away the original form until only the emotional energy, which it had absorbed, remains.”

For her current body of work, ‘Blueprints’, Kirsten uses highly personal items like stamp albums, dress patterns and family photographs to provide the ‘ready charged’ raw material with which she creates her paper models. These are then cast in clear resin, frozen, suspended and floating; rather like preserved scientific specimens. The once fragile paper becomes indestructible and untouchable, rather like the exhibits in a museum.

Baskett then photographs her ‘objects’ and produces prints of the images. She prints onto extremely delicate Japanese Kozo paper. Kirsten uses Prussian Blue to fix the moment, printing with polymer plates, similar to the cyanotype printing of the nineteenth century. Once the image is complete she then (like her sculptures) encases them in clear resin. This encasement is firstly to protect and preserve the fragile print but also serves to echo the story in her sculptures of suspension, a piece permanently frozen in time.