A major new collection of distinctive drawings and paintings by Kirsty Whiten depict intimate struggles as boys are taken hostage, cared for, teased and broken in like horses. They play and fight in costumes constructed from materials found in their homes; weapons from the kitchen, riding gear from addidas, hair -pieces, scarves and turbans made from towels and t shirts. Adults using childlike play to act out the best and worst of their dependency and desire. The fierce and delicate images explore sexuality, control and truce, the tenderness of surrender – the roles fought over and claimed by modern men and women.
Kirsty Whiten has been working continuously as an artist for the past nine years, in Paris and Edinburgh, steadily gaining a reputation as one of the leading Scottish artists of her generation. She has won numerous prizes for her distinctive drawings and paintings – recently shortlisted for the £10 000 Alistair Salvesen travel award at the RSA. She began her career by winning ‘young Scottish artist of the year award’ in 99, a prize that sent her to Paris for a year; and has since exhibited from Melbourne to Den Haag and Austria.
Whiten’s work is on view at StolenSpace, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1. Donkey Hostage runs to April 5, 2009.