Kirsty Chapman, an intuitive artist based in West Sussex, has been painting and drawing ever since she was three years old.
Her artwork follows a military and remembrance theme, with her most unique paintings featuring a silhouette of two soldiers supporting each other whilst walking along a path of poppies.
The poppies within Kirsty’s canvases are painted with her own fingerprints. Each poppy is a unique reminder of the sacrifice soldiers have made, their mark on history and the lives lost for our freedom.
“I use my fingerprints to create the poppies as I then have a spiritual and personal connection to the subject and the canvas,” says Kirsty. “It also means each painting it totally unique, cannot be replicated and has my own personal stamp on it.”
Kirsty was inspired to create military themed paintings as she works at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead.
She explains: “I’m aware of the important role our military have played in the town’s history. Helping to care for complex cases such as amputations and burns using the same techniques that were discovered and used by the surgeons during the war is amazing. I wanted to create artwork in appreciation of the sacrifices these young men made.”
Kirsty is currently planning a new painting, which will be both a challenge to complete and a historical undertaking. She will be painting a giant version of her poppy canvas, but instead of using her own fingerprints to create the path of poppies, she is appealing to you and your soldier to add a fingerprint or two and write a short dedication or memory in a special book to accompany the painting.
Kirsty says: “I hope to help join people together across generations by creating a talking point that will keep memories alive, last a lifetime and ensure they are never forgotten. I would like to connect the past with the present towards a ‘path to peace’, which is what gave me the inspiration for the title of the painting.”
“I hope by contributing their fingerprints, soldiers and military families will feel a sense of pride and connection to each other – and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
My great grandfather fought in the war as a rifleman and died shortly before it ended at age 33. It’s because of men like this we are here today, and I feel it is my duty to help them be honoured just as it was theirs to serve us and deliver us our freedom.”
Kirsty’s aim is to collectively complete the painting and displayed it for Remembrance where everyone can see it.
“When I’m creating my soldier art, I let the energy flow where needed – the paintings almost end up creating themselves. All I do is help to tell their story in a visual way,” concludes Kirsty.
Kirsty will be at the East Grinstead Museum, West Sussex RH19 3BJ on 10 November 2021 from 12pm to 4pm and 11 and 12 November 2021 from 10am to 4pm.