Born in Kazakhstan, Kim’s family moved to the Ukraine when she was 12. Travel, changes and goodbyes featured strongly in her adult life as well. Her first husband was in the military and this led to many years of movement that left Kim longing for somewhere to connect and belong.
“I longed for a home, in every sense of the word: somewhere safe to bring up my two boys, and somewhere quiet to find and digest inspiration.”
Eventually Kim found that home in Christchurch.
“I found myself. I rediscovered my roots and put down new ones, and the diversity of my art reflects the intertwining of cultures, experiences, values and influences within me,” says Kim.
Major life changes revealed themselves through distinct changes in Kim’s work, and her classical training - which had provided many years of valuable structure and discipline - suddenly felt restricting.
Drawn to the versatility of acrylics, Kim spent years exploring the medium; working with different techniques, processes, products and tools.
“No one showed me any shortcuts. Everything I learned about working with acrylics, mixed media and palette knives, I discovered on my own. I think this has helped me to develop a distinctive and unique style.”
This approach to art making has become something of a mantra for Kim who provides private lessons and workshops for artists.
“I think it is important to put aside what you have been taught or told by others is ‘right’ and give yourself the freedom to play and explore and discover new ways of approaching your art so that it reflects your own journey and insights.”
In her own work, Kim’s approaches are combined with a yers of experience as a fabric designer. An expert in Batik, a term for various techniques of painting on fabric, Kim draws on the skills and processes of this art form and adapts them to her paintings.
Reservation, a concept at the heart of Batik, involves blocking out selected areas of cloth to preserve and emphasise both colours and patterns of the underlying fabric. Instantly recognisable in her painting, variations on this blocking technique reveal and mask aspects of composition, colour and pattern.
“For me, it's not just about capturing colour, texture, light, shape and space; it's also about releasing the feel, scent, sound and taste of moments in time. Capture and release; traditional and contemporary; realism and abstraction; simple and complex. Embracing the balance of complementary opposites like these is at the core of my work and, indeed, my life."
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