Russell studied combined arts, (painting and music), at Dartington College and later Crewe & Alsager College where he graduated in 1982 with a B.A (hons) Integrated Arts majoring in visual art and music performance.
After graduating he set up a studio with fellow painters in a disused factory in Crewe where he produced large oil paintings based almost exclusively on the landscape of North Wales and Cumbria – favourite hiking country.
Alongside this he set up a guitar school teaching during the evenings and playing in restaurants and bars at the weekends. It was during this time he began to develop an interest in performance and processional arts while working on residential projects with Cheshire Dance Workshop.
On moving to Chester in the early 1990’s Russell became involved in various large-scale projects and events such as arts festivals, outdoor theatre, parades and productions of devised theatre touring Europe. His activities at this time included artistic design and production, composing and performing music, co-directing and organisational and administrative work.
Russell also developed a love for mosaics and started producing his own in 1996. Since then he has carried out a number of commercial and private commissions and has built up a sizeable catalogue of mosaic work.
Russell is responsible for a number of annual festivals and parades across the North West and his workshop activities mean that he is a familiar face in many schools and colleges in Cheshire and surrounding Counties. His work can be seen in many festivals and parades across the country.
Russell’s first book – the illustrated re-telling of George and the Dragon was published in 2011 and he is currently working on two further works due for publication in 2014.
Although he still produces his own work for exhibition and private collections it is the large festive events that are his first love. This is epitomised by the Chester Midsummer Watch Parade where the elements of visual arts, music and performance all come together making it one of the most enjoyable and spectacular community events in the country.
You can see more of Russell’s work at www.russellkirk.co.uk
Russell Kirk Exhibition
21st May to 21st July 2016