Kirstie has dedicated her beautiful new book, Just Like Duck to our very own Mick Peat, a good friend of her parents, Dave and Jane, and who was so supportive of her and encouraging when she was just starting out on her career. Not only has Kirstie dedicated her book to Mick but she will also be donating a percentage of the purchase price for every copy sold to The Mick Peat Drystone Bursary. We wanted to ask her a few questions about her work.

Drystone: You dedicated “JUST LIKE DUCK” to Mick Peat. Why?

Kirstie: It has been my privilege to be able to create this book in memory of Mick to help assist his legacy. During my early career, he supported and encouraged me in many ways, including offers of stalls at various events and even giving me my first commission. On my wedding day he organised both the car and the reception, we had the most magical evening of music and dance. When my Dad’s health declined Mick was there for the family and maintained contact and friendship throughout the many years that followed. We are one of numerous who were lucky enough to have known Mick and to have had such a positive influence in our lives. To be able to support a project that was important to him and contribute in some small way has been both cathartic and gratifying. He is continuing to bring people together and will always be fondly remembered.

Drystone: How did you come to work in this style and medium of illustration?

Kirstie: I worked in paper collage a lot during my time as a student at Mackworth Art College, 1994-96 and while studying for my degree in Applied Arts at Derby University I specialised in reclaimed and waste materials, mainly food and drinks cans. When I graduated in 2000 I no longer had access to a workshop and so I initially returned to collaging again as it was something I could do easily at home and magazines and junk mail are such a readily available resource. Now all of my work is created from the colours and textures that I find in old magazines, no paint is added. I love seeing how far I can push this medium.

Drystone: Are your original works ever sold-on?

Kirstie: A large majority of my work has been commissioned pieces that are often highly personal and sentimental. I collage pieces depicting family members, animals, buildings and locations that are of personal significance, often for special birthdays, anniversaries or in memorandum. I don't often get to know what happens to my work once it's left the studio and only know of a couple of occasions where work has been sold on.

Drystone: Have you other projects in progress or in mind?

Kirstie: Always! Aside from my current collection and commission work, I am juggling several book projects including the Future Folklore series which is a collection of my poems and illustrations that tell the stories of our declining wildlife, likening them to creatures of myth and legend.

Several exhibitions were delayed due to the pandemic, including, the window installation 'By Royal Decree' that I worked on with Hannah Lobley, for which I created a series of paper mache dolls with magazine collage surface decoration. It depicts nature's royals issuing a decree to the human race to tackle climate change. It was due to be installed at Derby Cathedral's The Sanctuary in April 2020, a partial installation did go ahead at Belper Arts trail in August 2020. We are currently looking for possible venues.

Opportunities and invitations to exhibit are starting to come in again, which is all very exciting. I created works in response to the pandemic which are now beginning to find homes. I have a few other things in the pipeline that I'm excited to explore.

Drystone: Will you continue your association with Drystone?

Kirstie: I would love to continue to associate with Drystone, the support and encouragement from all involved has been wonderful and I relish the idea of integrating future projects. Drystone's support of the arts at such a difficult time is very welcome and much needed, it's always great to see positive action in the face of adversity. Thank you to all involved for so willingly giving your time and knowledge and for your continued kindness.

You can find out more about and purchase Just Like Duck over at Kirstie's website or find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Youtube.