University's focus on Chester artist's work


Staff reporter (Chester First)

AN exhibition of work by a Chester artist, whose work has been featured at major events in the city, is to go on display at the city’s university.

Russell Kirk, whose work has been a prominent feature at events and festivals such as the Chester Midsummer Watch Parade and major outdoor events, will be on display at the Kingsway Buildings until Friday, February 14.

The exhibition brings together aspects of Mr Kirk’s private and public work and will be exhibited in the Contemporary Art Space Chester (CASC), a new gallery development at the University, and was officially opened by Cllr Jill Houlbrook, Lord Mayor of Chester and chairman of Cheshire West and Chester Council.

The exhibition presents some of the elements of the visualisation of the Midsummer Watch Parade, character objects and Mr Kirk’s expressive narrative drawings.

Professor Neil Grant, head of the university’s department of Art and Design, said: “For a number of years, through his public and community work, Russell Kirk has made a significant contribution to the cultural life of the city of Chester and region generally.

“His achievement in many ways reflects the ambitions for the Art and Design Department at the University of Chester and the ‘Contemporary Art Space Chester’ gallery project in particular. It is our hope we can have a positive impact upon the developing visual culture in the city, to engage in an exciting creative way with the wider community and for our students to contribute to building a dynamic creative environment.

“Russell has championed this type of broad inclusive artistic engagement working with schools, community groups and the wider public while continuing to develop his own witty narrative work. The exhibition at CASC presents a snapshot of Russell’s intense playful engagement with the visual and spectacle.”

Mr Kirk moved to Chester in the early 1990s and became involved in various large-scale projects and events such as art 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.

Admission is free and CASC is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Visit

See full story in the Chester Leader

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