Kirsty Tinkler is primarily a sculptor who works across the spectrum of scale, choosing to make works that have a parasitic relationship with their sites. Whether she is working with a wall or making temporal outdoor sculpture, she makes works that attach specifically to the sites in which they inhabit. She creates rich works in a variety of materials including latex, plaster, rope, fabric and timber.

Tinkler’s sculpture utilises the visual language of ornament, folly and façade, to accentuate the accumulation and veneer in creating cultural identity and the transformative process of creating place identity. Working within the discourse of historicism, perceiving architectural objects and environments as representational and symbolic, she is interested in the gestures that these symbolic forms make and their part in the psychological leap that occurs as space is transformed into place. The symbols are an accumulation of visual culture that build certainties of continuity and inheritance, whilst at the same time, establishing a barrier to a more open experience of space. Her work simultaneously pays homage to classical forms for the comfort and continuity that their continued usage creates, while also wanting to peel off these codes to understand what a more open experience of space might mean to society. What would it mean to strip back the line that has been drawn from Greece through Rome to the Imperial Colonial powers? This legitimising by claiming commonality is a political tool and Tinkler’s colonial past pushes her to recognise it in this light.

Tinkler’s work is a physical experience, they are outward looking wanting to engage with a broad audience in which ever way they choose. Subtly however, to come upon her work is to have the opportunity to look underneath the veil, to see the veneer as just that in the navigating of society. In this way they create a space in which to question how we populate our surrounding and what our attachments to them truly signify.

In 2013, Tinkler made a series of works entitled ‘An Act in Parts’, in which latex sheeting was punctuated with classical features typical of our understanding of western architecture and then wrapped and draped onto three different sites. Between each exhibit the sheeting was cut and reassembled to allow it to attach to the next, it was then bound to each site with rope and eyelets. The work drew attention to classicisms ability to transform and create historical place identity. The largest of the commissions ‘Twin Temples’ attached to one of two pavilions that had once been part of a larger classical folly on the lakeside in Nottingham University Park, UK. The pavilion now has a Juliet style balcony overlooking the lake, while the land side of the structure consists of brutal metal beams that support the remains of the original building. Ambitious in scale at over four metres in height and width the latex wrapped the metal beams to complete the folly of a classical temple. The latex sheeting created an inner womb within the structure where the public could enter and view the lake, while the work itself moved buffeted by the wind, tied down only with the rustic sisal rope.