The Monthly interviews local community artist, Clinton Kirkpatrick – Part 1 – Choosing Painting and Drawing

Do you have any early memories regarding being interested in painting?

I remember drawing as a child.  I always loved drawing and when I was around 10 years old I would make declarations that I would be an artist, and I wrote that in an English jotter at that time. So clearly it was something that was in my mind when I was very young.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up on a farm, in the country, near Crumlin, Dundrod and Glenavy. It was a working farm and there was no indication anywhere that anyone in my family was interested or involved in the arts. And art was not considered that important. Regardless, my interest in the arts continued to grow.

Clinton Kirkpatrick

Did you get any support at school?

Outside of the arts teachers, that definitely did not happen. Not at the school I went to. The arts were not considered valuable, especially back then, in fact it wasn’t even encouraged. When you would go to the careers advisers and you would say that you wanted to be an artist, they would say, “What do you really want to do?” It was a generally dismissive attitude which was very frustrating.

What did you do?

I ended up at a Grammar School and it became clear there that my interests lay with art, drawing and painting. I became quite skilled at drawing, and I loved learning how to draw properly.

I left school at 16 so that I could pursue the arts. I went to college and I was able to pursue all sorts of different avenues regarding the arts. I went to Lisburn Institute, and then I did my Foundation Diploma in Limavady and then I went to England, the University of Huddersfield, to do a proper degree in painting and drawing. I landed on painting as that, as I said, was what I was always most passionate about. That was where my heart lay.

Portal Sunbathe – Oil on canvas – 60cm x 50cm – 2021
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New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.