Fiona Kirkwood

Fiona Kirkwood is a South African artist who lives in
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. She works in fibre and mixed media
to produce contemporary sculptures and installations

Artist's Statement


A tribal ritual garment is seen as a protective covering, conveying the vibrancy and energy of the Zulu people in KwaZulu Natal who wear incredible traditional outfits to commemorate rites of passage.
The shield is a symbol of protection of the Zulu nation. My interpretation combines modern day synthetics and indigenous palm leaves. The skulls add a sense of mystery and the presence of the ancestors

TRANSGRESSIONS? (1997 - 1998)

The exhibition consisted of eight large installations and sculptures by me with individual photographic interpretations by photographers Val Adamson and Barry Downard. Val Adamson photographed my works in appropriate outdoor and indoor environments and Barry Downard focused on making viewers more aware of detailed aspects of the works by producing enlarged computer-enhanced photographs of different sections of the sculptures.

In this exhibition I was exploring what we are carrying forward from the past and present into the new Millennium, both positively and negatively, and the works reflect global issues such as AIDs, El Nino, pollution, energy, war, poaching of large endangered mammals, computers and space travel. The base materials for the sculptures consisted of discarded industrial waste from factories that is used in the manufacture of functional fibre products. I chose this medium for its visual appeal and because plastic is a 20th Century invention which has impacted positively and negatively on our planet.