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Kieran Stiles studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art, BA (hons), graduating in 1994, and currently lives in the Cotswolds and works from his studio in Oxford, UK. Concerned with depicting the particularity of the natural world – the colour, shape and light of a place – Stiles’ richly worked oil paintings move beyond representation to describe the 'inner reality' or essence of the landscape through painterly abstraction. These visual metaphors evoke the beauty and drama of unique landscapes, particularly the Cornish coast and the sub-tropical beaches of the Isles of Scilly.
Working both from his Oxfordshire studio and from direct observation in the landscape, Stiles pushes the limits of representation using a variety of techniques and mark-making, to produce layer upon layer of fractured painted marks, dashes, scores and splatters, whilst responding to his subject from multiple viewpoints. Stiles examines how practical experience, especially drawing, can drive the imagination and allow us to explore and experiment with alternative perception.
Kieran Stiles work is held in many influential and distinguished collections internationally and has been included in group and solo exhibitions throughout the UK, including Browse and Darby, London (2018); Oxford Chamber Music Festival (2018 Artist in Residence); The London Art Fair, with Browse and Darby (2018); Brian Sinfield Gallery, Burford (2017); Lemon Street Gallery, Truro (2016); and Merton College, Oxford University (2015). An artist and educator, Stiles has taught at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford for the last few years and recently completed a 6-month visiting residency fellowship as 'artist in residence' at Merton College, Oxford University. During his tenure, his research aimed to explore how balance and well-being can be found through the autonomy and independence of creativity. He held a series of highly regarded lectures during his time at Merton, completing his residency with a sell-out solo exhibition, 'Lightscape', at Merton in December 2019. Curated by Flora Fairbairn, the exhibition had over 600 visitors and was listed in the Saturday Times newspaper 'Top Picks' by Rachel Campbell-Johnston, (featured alongside Anthony Gormley, William Blake, Damian Hurst, Cezanne, Richard Hamilton, Barry Flanagan and Paula Rego). His work has also been exhibited and curated by Philippa Adams, Director, Saatchi Gallery, London.
Research Fellowship in the Arts, Merton College, Oxford:
Research Fellowship in the Arts (2019) - exploring how creativity can allow us to see things differently.
In a world in which our experiences are increasingly governed by external influences, this research fellowship in the arts aims to explore how balance and well-being can be found through the autonomy and independence of creativity.
Using his paintings as visual metaphors, Kieran Stiles examined how practical experience, especially of drawing, can allow us to experiment with alternative perception. A highly regarded programme of workshops and lectures offered new ways of driving the imagination.