This Is A Real Colour Photograph
By Kirsty Mackay

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Year
1999
Media
Acrylic and Gouache
Subject Matter
Abstract - Sea and Boats
Reg. Number
P1042

This is an unusual piece for Kirsty Mackay, as she mainly focuses her work on photography, however this painting relates to her photography work and an effect she is trying to achieve. She uses very stark and bold colours in her portrayal of what appears to be a desert scene of the sand, water and sky. It is similar to her other work 'Real Photograph', conveying the same scene from another angle. The stark bold colours and rigid lines give an almost fake feel to the image. However, this piece depicts a lot more of the sky. The paint is not thick, but looks heavy - almost chalky and the colours so blocked and unrealistic looking, but calming at the same time, offer an unusual contrast to the title of 'This is a real colour photograph'. There is no doubt that the colours are indeed vibrant and 'real' and perhaps this is what Kirsty is trying to convey, but it is not in actuality a photograph. She is always seeking the 'perfect photograph' but maybe this only exists when you can paint and conjure an image yourself, and create perfection. She also likes to observe the unobvious everyday things which affect us, and perhaps wants the viewer to question the piece and the boundaries.

Kirsty, a well known and publicised photographer, has a wealth of experience in her field. After having studied photography in Glasgow she went on to work as a photographic assistant in New York. Kirsty then took up a similar role in London. In this work she assisted some of the biggest names in fashion and advertising. In order to further her career, in 2005, Kirsty graduated with an MA in documentary photography and now focuses on her personal projects based around 'the everyday'. This consists of observing the small, unnoticeable everyday accessories and objects that we incur that affect our lives, culture and society. Kirsty also observes what makes a picture good and how her profession is always changing in light of technological advances and the changing cultural perceptions of photography and how it interacts with people's lives. Kirsty will always consistently search for an image that is not only technically perfect, but one that just exudes perfection and what that is.

Kirsty still does freelance work now and then for one off pieces or series. The list of publications enlisting her talents include: the Sunday Express, the Independent on Sunday and M magazine. She has also been awarded the Hunters Armley photographic prize and the Best Still Life Portfolio prize by the Association of Photographer's in previous years. In 2003, when camera phones had just become accessible, Kirsty embarked upon a project with Vodaphone to take a picture every day for a year with a mobile phone camera in order to document her life. Currently, the photographer is also working on her own book called 'Generation Pink'.

Kirsty Mackay's website

Kirsty Mackay's blog

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