Kirsty Martinsen is a painter, designer and performer based in Adelaide, South Australia. She has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the South Australian School of Art and a Diploma of Painting from the NY Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. 

In a world of swipe right fast decisions, literalness, and the need to know and be told how to think and feel, Kirsty is interested in the opposite. She’s interested in the quiet, slow surrendering of a need to know or be told, and the layers and textures of our relationship with ourselves. She loves drawing and to work from life, either with people or plein air, outside amongst the trees, birds and sunshine. Kirsty is a believer in art as an agent for social change and in a disability arts and culture that enables disabled people to strive for artistic expression, champion their own destiny and combat prejudice.

Kirsty has exhibited in Australia, US, UK and Amsterdam. Her short film, Breathe, won the Mercedes Matter/Ambassador Middendorf Award at X Marks The Spot: Women of The NY Studio School, the 2018 Alumni show. In 2016 she participated in the Australia Council’s Sync Leadership Program; sat on Arts SA’s Richard Llewellyn Art and Disability Trust panel; performed in the 2016 Fringe in Spring written by Patricia Cornelius and Directed by Maude Davey with No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability, and in Jerome Bel’s GALA in the 2017 Adelaide Festival. Currently Kirsty has a studio at The Mill, she teaches drawing, is devising a self-portrait performance called Bodiness with NY Theatre-maker Erwin Maas and is working with SBS and SA Film Corporation on a short documentary as one of 3 disabled film makers in the Full Tilt project.

Images: Alex Makeyev