Interview: Kirsty Greenwood

IFP: Hi, welcome to Innsmouth. Can you introduce yourself to our readers in 50 words or less?

KG: My name is Kirsty Greenwood; I am an artist and, from the time my Dad taught the very small me to draw cats, I have been inspired to be so by the place I grew up, (beautiful, windy hill miles from anywhere) by Faerie tales, ailuroanthropy, Alice-syndrome, horror, and Quixotism.

IFP: What attracts you to the fantastic?

KG: Having grown up in the Yorkshire dales, immersed in the history, landscape and weather of the moors, hills and valleys, I feel I’m living with the fantastic all around me – it makes me feel at ease to indulge in the many categories of the whimsical my childhood memories encourage as an aid in producing art. I believe in faeries, though I know them to be anything but charming and butterfly-like; I’ve witnessed ghosts and majik; I am certain of alternative realities others disregard as fanciful and am a believer in the manipulation thereof. To me the fantastic is the opposite of boredom, I’m scarcely ever bored!

IFP: What frightens you?

KG: I’m truly frightened by possession and exorcisms. Almost every nightmare I have (which I have more often than not!) is of being demonically possessed, trying to escape the entity which has a hold on me. I’m also terrified of werewolves and ghost dogs; ghost babies give me the creeps. The sea makes me panic; I’m not too keen on any water deeper than a bath…I’m also a real wimp about needles.

IFP: What fascinates you?

KG: I’m fascinated by ephemeral visual misunderstanding, transient half-light, other people’s ‘bad’ weather, ocular strangeness, nightmares, dreams, and fleeting glimpses of unreality. Much of my work is inspired by these occurrences, serendipity being a muse I often distract myself with. I find it fascinating that, a lot of the time, I am unable to see the reality others insist upon!

IFP: How does photography integrate with your artwork?

KG: I use photographs and the negatives of them, within my artwork to add extra layers and dimensions, which I find useful for creating reality in an otherwise illusory situation or landscape. I think it helps people relate to an image if it has a theme or place common to most. For example, a portrait can be manipulated to appear only half-familiar, or a scene otherworldly, but can still be visited.

IFP: Where does your interest in fashion come from?

KG: I wouldn’t say I had a particular interest in fashion per se, but I definitely have a love of clothing and costume, all styles and eras: especially antique, vintage textiles and clothing. My mum taught me to sew and so, stimulated by my stubborn streak that baulks at the thought of wearing garments others may also possess, I make a lot of my own clothes. Having so many people ask me where they are from, I created my own label and produce limited runs and one-offs for other like-minded cats!

IFP: If you could be a Lovecraftian character, who would you be and why?

KG: Well, to be honest, I think my fear of the sea comes from formerly (in another life?) being a Deep One, exiled for some crime which the Old Ones feel went unpunished; when I’m near the sea, it often tries to pull me in, and rivers mesmerise me then try to carry me away. I also have a slight aversion to other human beings and their often-disturbing ways and customs….

You can visit Kirsty at: www.kirstygreenwood.co.uk.

IFP

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IFPInterview: Kirsty Greenwood