Kieran Stiles studied at Falmouth School of Art (1994) and currently lives and works in St Giles, Oxford. 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 the U.K’s unique landscape, 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. Recalling the native flora of Cornwell and the Scilly Isles–from Broom and Bell Heather to Bristle Club-Rush, Heath-Grass and Marsh Pennywort–the surface texture of each canvas reveals an attempt to capture the abundance and myriad complexities of these simultaneously robust and delicate ecosystems. Responding to his subject from multiple viewpoints, Stiles examines how practical experience, especially drawing, can drive the imagination and allow us to experiment with alternative perception.
Kieran Stiles work has been included in group and solo exhibitions throughout the U.K, 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 is currently artist in residence at Merton College, Oxford, as visiting research fellow in the arts. His research aims to explore how balance and well-being can be found through the autonomy and independence of creativity.
Research Fellowship in the Arts, Merton College, Oxford:
The purpose of this research fellowship in the arts is to explore 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 examines how practical experience, especially of drawing, can allow us to experiment with alternative perception. An exciting programme of workshops and lectures offers new ways of driving the imagination.