I’m Kirsty Hall, an artist based in the lovely town of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire.
I describe myself as ‘an artist and purveyor of obsessive projects’ for reasons that will quickly become apparent if you check out my gallery pages.
I am prone to all-consuming art projects that take years to complete. My family likes to say that I’m never happy unless I’m doing something until my fingers fall off. This has never actually happened but when I was tying thousands of knots in string I did get some nasty blisters.
During 2011, I nearly drove myself insane doing a year-long project called 365 Jars, where I released an art jar into the wild (almost) every day. It was basically a cunning excuse to get myself out for a daily walk. I’m sneaky like that. Resolutions? Pah – art projects are the way to get things done.
I’m currently sticking pins through a huge bit of fabric, cutting holes in an old blanket, taking courses in ceramics and noodling about in the studio with matchboxes. I also do a lot of drawing. Fortunately for all concerned, drawing is usually quicker. Apart from 2007, when I spent an entire year drawing on envelopes.
See, I wasn’t kidding about the obsessiveness.
Unfortunately I have ME/CFS, which seriously impacts my life and my art career.
When I’m not making art or bedridden with my illness, I bimble around the place reading, knitting, gardening, having fun with my delightful husband or texting my grown-up son. I used to be the President of Hebden Bridge Women’s Institute and I’m still a member. I also spend far too much time on Twitter, which is a great place to get to know me better.
Anyway, here’s my CV. It was boring, so I added some pithy comments…
Kirsty Hall: Curriculum Vitae
First Class BA Hons in Sculpture, University of Gloucestershire, 1999 – 2002
After failing college twice when I was younger, I cried my eyes out when I got a First.
365 Jars – Various locations + The Internet
The year long project that actually took 18 months.
Pin Ritual – Prick Your Finger, London
It was fun to show in an alternative haberdashery/art space. You know, it’s not often you get to write that phrase.
The Diary Project – The Internet
Broken Threads – HERE Gallery, Bristol
You shouldn’t attempt to make brand new work two weeks before your first solo show. Do not ask me how I know this.
Selected Group Exhibitions and Performances
Shoddy, Live Art Bistro, Leeds
A group show of work by disabled textile artists. I made a new piece called Tatterdemalion.
Disruptive Stillness, Slusser Gallery, University of Michigan
Woohoo, first international show!
52, Room 212, Bristol
I made a brand new piece for this show, 52 tiny drawings suspended with thread. Fun to make but an absolute sod to hang because I had to get all the threads just right.
Front Room Arts Trail, Bristol
Handy tip: People want to talk to you on art trails – don’t attempt to do a performance wearing a gag.
Threads of Meaning, Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk
I sold all three pieces in this show. I was speechless with shock.
Penitent Glass – Performance Evening, Tortworth
Cut my foot. Apparently deliberately breaking glass is dangerous. Who knew?
Temporary – March Town Hall, March, Cambridgeshire
The first time 3 Score & 10 was shown. I sent it off all neatly coiled and it came back all tangled. I decided I liked it much better that way. It was nothing to do with the fact that I didn’t want to untangle 70 strings. Nope, not at all.
24 Frames a Second – HERE Gallery, Bristol
I made something stupid for this show. We will not talk of it.
Round The Houses – Clifton Art Trail, Bristol
My first art trail. Damn, they’re tiring. Good fun though.
Knit One, Build One – HERE Gallery, Bristol
I knitted a brick. What? I did.
Perpendicular – St Nicholasâ€™ Church, Gloucester
Crazy church, not a single straight line in the place. But a beautiful space to exhibit in.
Out of the Blue â€“ HERE Gallery, Bristol
Another show that I curated with a friend. Wow, 2004 was pretty busy.
Blue Sky Thinking – Stroud Valleys Artspace, Stroud
I made porridge at the private view. Definitely my most delicious private view.
Food, Glorious Food – 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe
The toffee keys got to meet the head of the Arts Council. Oh, the excitement.
Cubicle Performance Evening – Cube, Bristol
Still the weirdest experience I’ve had performing ‘Pin Ritual’. Turns out that drunk people don’t appreciate pins.
Diving Deep – Greenbelt Festival, Cheltenham
Chapter and Verse – All Saints Church, Cheltenham
This one was in a crazy High Anglican church. It was quite hard to compete with all the Victorian gilding but we managed.
Speaking Volumes – Stroud House Gallery, Stroud
The toffee keys get their second outing. They get around, you know.
Greenbelt Art Prize â€“ Selected Works, Greenbelt Festival, Cheltenham
Test Tube – Stroud Valley Artspace, Stroud
Did one of my silliest performances. Was somewhat baffled when everyone took it seriously.
Degree Show – University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham
Someone temporarily ruined one of my works. I cried hysterically in the bathroom.
Revelation – FCH Chapel, Cheltenham
This is all student stuff. It was fun but I have nothing clever to say about it
Greenbelt Art Prize – University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham
Pin Ritual Performance – Spike Island, Bristol
Locations Festival – Gloucester Docks, Gloucester
Made Flesh – FCH Chapel, Cheltenham
Hide And Seek – Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham
Locations Festival – Gloucester Docks, Gloucester
Curator: Haberdashery in the shop windows of Hebden Bridge.
Co-curator: Ghosts of Borley – HERE Gallery, Bristol
Curator: Twisted: Knitting on the Edge – HERE Gallery, Bristol
Co-curator: Mulling Over The Difference Of The Other – HERE Gallery, Bristol
Curator: Broken Threads – HERE Gallery, Bristol
Curator: Knit One, Build One – HERE Gallery, Bristol
Co-curator: Out of the Blue – HERE Gallery, Bristol
Co-curator: Blue Sky Thinking – SVA, Stroud
Curator: Diving Deep – Greenbelt Festival, Cheltenham
One of the best shows I ever curated. I was proud of this.
Initiator and co-organiser: The Numinous Impulse
A one day conference exploring the links between art and spirituality held at the University of Gloucestershire
Head Curator: Chapter and Verse exhibition, All Saints Church, Cheltenham
Curator: Greenbelt Art Prize, Greenbelt Festival, Cheltenham
Member of Bristol Creatives, 2009 – 2011
Member of Textile Forum South West, 2009 – 2011
Member of Spike Island Associates, 2007 – 2011
Member of the HERE gallery committee, 2004 – 2007
Founder and chairperson of Ilka, a Gloucestershire based artistsâ€™ group, June 2002 â€“ Dec 2005