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In the Abstract: Hagley Artist Friederike Kircher

March 9, 2017
By Mike Fowler

Teacher Brenda Nightingale with Frederike

Teacher Brenda Nightingale with Frederike

2016 Year 13 student Friederike Kircher’s painting portfolio is worth noting.

It’s not just that her folio has been requested for the 2017 national Top Art Exhibition to tour the country, which along with other top folios gives secondary students and teachers an opportunity to gain an understanding of what is required to achieve Excellence at Level 3, as well as members of the public to see the high quality art being created in schools.

Friederike’s art is worth noting because it’s in the abstract genre, which very few attempt because it’s difficult and demanding. Her Art teacher Brenda Nightingale thinks that painting in the abstract suits Friederike – in Brenda’s words: “It suits her careful, considered way of working.”

Having previously studied English and Philosophy at Hagley, Friederike decided to choose Painting in 2016 because of her interest in a career in architectural design. She felt that if she was going to work in this field, she needed to build her ability to  absorb things around her and to then be able to put them on paper.

Friederike described the development of the three panel folio as a huge challenge that at times she felt would never end: “I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.” While her paintings are set out across three folio panels, they don’t get painted in the order they appear. Large amounts of work doesn’t make it into the final folio as well – for example, in the third panel, the work there  was drawn from five or six panels worth of painting. It was very difficult to decide what to include and what to leave out.

Friederike is starting a Bachelor of Architecture at Ara in 2017. She wants to keep an environmental focus within her architecture studies. She is not impressed by the Christchurch rebuild, where she sees harsh building shapes when she drives through the city which seem offensive to the environment: “They have a huge impact.” Her folio reflects her interest in placing hard and soft side by side. There is a contrast of harshness and softness in the panels, with the main media used being acrylics, with some watercolour and pencil.

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