The Monthly talks to Artist and Maker, Kirsty Mcguinness – Part 1

What are your earliest memories being drawn to the arts?

When I was a teenager at High School, in Scotland, I was obsessed with drama. We didn’t have a drama department at my Primary School so when I was offered the chance to join a drama class at High School I really went for it. When I decide I am interested in something I really do commit to it, I started reading plays, learning the craft, I ended up getting involved in the Scottish Youth Theatre.

Scottish Youth Theatre

Why drama and theatre?

It just appealed to me and I think when you get involved slightly in one area of the arts you tend to look into other areas. I started going to galleries and learning more about painting and writing. Coming from a working class background, it was all brand new to me because we never really had an opportunity to do things like the arts where I came from. So a new world was opened up for me.

Were you supported at home?

Not really. I wasn’t encouraged but I wasn’t discouraged either. My family wasn’t really interested in the arts and this wasn’t an area that they knew very well, although my Dad was interested in music and he especially loved folk music so I grew up listening to that kind of music. I just forged ahead regardless.

I did do some great plays with the Scottish Youth Theatre and I was in the show Taggart once. And I did see a murder on the set of Taggart. I appeared in other shows as well because if you were part of the Scottish Youth Theatre we would do background work in television shows. That was great and we actually got paid for that as well. I eventually went to drama school, but I didn’t last too long, about 6 months. It just wasn’t for me in the end.


Was there anything else other than drama that interested you?

I was always a singer. This stories about having to sing a song at parties or events like New Year in Scotland were very true, and so I had songs that I would sing at parties. I loved music and I got that from my Dad.

What happens then?

I went on to do film and television, working behind the camera rather than in front of the camera and I think that suited me much better than being in front of the camera.

Part two of this interview is here

See more information about Kirsty Mcguinness’ work here:

artist forms link
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