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  • Kyran Gilbert


General comments and advice on how to improve your work in the future

Kyran - your work in this unit has been motivated by meticulous and rigorous conceptual and material thinking. This is exemplified in your sparkling sketchbooks, which contain methodological articulations of your thorough processes and possible projects - they are a joy to pore over. Your work is varied and deeply connected - paintings, objects, paintings that want to be objects, electronic/charged works/performance.

Your painting has turned a corner - in the later works - and there is beginning to be an 'aura' to the works which sustains the electrical beyond its 'image'. This is leading the work closer to the intent you articulate so well in tutorials. The later works are leaving earlier works behind - even if there are only days between you having painted them. Try to stay with painting and consider how you are painting the energies of inanimate things/spaces. Something to consider is how the viewer understands that something is being transmitted or charged... perhaps this is suggested via a transformation in the space; a haze around a form (a light or the bristles of a fabric); an altered position (such as something being 'just' out of place). All of these things exist just beyond our expectation or vision. Your painting of the neon sign and socket reminds me that I may know how electricity works - in that the plug gets switched on - but I don't know how electricity works - can't describe the actualities of physics. Thinking of painting as adjacent to the laws of physics (rendering them fantastical) may be helpful... and links the paintings to the works made of wood.

I recommend writings by Nicholson Baker - 'Mezzanine' is the most well-known (about one short escalator ride), but there is also 'Room Temperature'. Baker is adept at ordaining things with powers and affect. Look also at early paintings by Vija Celmins - such as 'Heater', 'Hotplate' and 'Eggs' (all painted in 1964).

The wood works are at early stage and it was bold to include them. They seem to need to grow in number - presenting more choice. At the moment there is a suggestion that function/futility are being questioned. Again this seems to imply that our physical world is being scrutinised for both flaws and fantasy. It's great to see how what you read is present in the work (such as the material on OOO and Bogost's Alien Phenomenology). Watch some of Jane Bennet's podcasts on the agency of things and read Bill Brown's 'Thing Theory' if you haven't already. (Available at:

It was good to see the complex work in progress (cube) - with reflective, distorting possibilities. Keep developing this with an eye on how the form may have an effect on its future content.

The Research Journal nods to all the 'right' sources as an index but without articulating or reasoning why you are drawing a line between a source and your own work. In many ways it feels adjunct to your thinking and the depth of your enquiries. Where is all your intense thinking documented? The journal feels more like place-marking. In the next period of time try to think how documenting your research can become more embedded.

The PPD placement is highly appropriate and relates to your own making.I look forward to keeping up with its development

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