Born in Scotland. Buchanan studied Art Philosophy and Contemporary practices at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and then moved from Scotland to London to do her MAFA at Central Saint Martin's, following which she studied on The Drawing Year at The Prince's Drawing School (now the Royal Drawing School) in 2013. She currently lives in Amsterdam.

The Artist’s Blush
Introduction to interview with Sarah Cleaver in Garageland Magazine,‘Self’ issue. 2015

Growing up in the Isle of Man, Buchanan has been drawing bodies since she can remember, copying pictures from a Joy of Sex book discovered in her parents room, and taking them to class to show her friends. That early ingenuity echoes in her work, directly influencing her films, and extending to blindfolded drawings, a series of celebrity sex tapes delineated from memory, etchings of sleeping boys and watercolour women swimmers. In her films she appears fragmented, (legs, hands, torso, voice) and superimposed over old masters, swimming pools and Leonardo DiCaprio’s flickering blue eyes. Her dances, bicycling legs and clicking fingers merge performance and private activity; fragile rituals that tell us much more about feminine life behind closed doors than the nudes behind her.

Kate Neave, Florence Trust Catalogue 2015

With a deceptively light touch, Kirsty Buchanan reworks historical tropes to carve out new spaces for the feminine within the history of art. Moving between drawing, painting and film, she addresses the representation of women at various historical moments. Often working with impoverished materials such as scraps of cotton and rolls of paper, her artworks are fleeting and momentary, existing only temporarily in opposition to much traditional art practice.

Much of Buchanan’s work is inspired by a fascination with the historical framing of strong females as temptress, inspiration or spiritual channel. Seeing a correlation between the most iconic nudes in Renaissance painting and depictions of women posing in contemporary lads magazines, Buchanan began taking the poses for her recent paintings from 1970’s Playboy magazines. Painting the womens’ seductive poses through material onto paper, her oil paint is heavily diluted so the figures appear ephemeral and transitory.

Drawing inspiration from the Pre-Raphaelite period, Buchanan has recently become fixated with the poet and artist Lizzie Siddal whose artistic output has been largely ignored in favour of her role as muse to the group. Rather than dismiss this perspective, Buchanan explores it, giving it weight and attention outside of a masculine viewpoint. Her work gives space to traditionally feminine themes from the intimate to the mystical, tapping into a new wave of feminism that reclaims female associations traditionally treated with suspicion.

‘I Love You, Kirsty Grace Buchanan’ PARAMOUR Girl’s Own Story
by Lauren Printy Currie

Buchanan’s work constructs quiet and fragile narratives in carefully composed environments incorporating drawing, film and performance. Linking each of these components is a connection to the notion of shame and the internalised gaze of society; Buchanan films herself drawing sexual scenarios and encounters. These notions are subject to fragmentation and alteration through the delicate and somewhat tantalizing pencil drawings that emerge and become explicitly revealed and concealed in her films.
A white background excruciatingly transforms into a drawing of two figures, thin wandering lines become body parts, controlled by the nimble fingers also occupying the film; an elegant presence in the blank proposition of a sheet of white paper. Drawing on film creates a means of reinforcing of the existence of each moment - embedded in actual time and definite place - drawn out and blurred by the artist's own hands. These works effectively suggest a sense of profound exploration into thrill and the complex human condition of shame whilst also highlighting the limitless possibilities of the moving image. They are portraits of a personality, constructing a language eager and as though jotted in haste, a visual equivalent to automatic writing techniques. The soundtrack is also seemingly penciled in; a scratching pen against paper, the tender rub of a felt tip, velvet sighs and shuffling paper are all amplified to intensity against the carefully composed imagery.
In their apparent simplicity, wider notions are revealed in Buchanan's films and fragments of experience and storytelling compose an account that reveals a little and conceals a little of the articulated world of the artist. A tangle of sheets, legs and a languid Sunday-like shifting - a forlorn onion of fabric and skin and layers gently being stripped away coaxing the viewer through a complex internal construction.
Buchanan’s narratives show a lithe directorial manipulation and the work rests within the significance of motion for creating a heightened sensation (we almost feel like we are watching a sex scene with our parents) and the role of the work’s inner narrator becomes a parallel for the situation where the work is viewed with shame.
Scenes reminiscent of childhood merge beautifully with erotic longing all forming a nuanced approach to gender, a direction that casts a spell of timelessness constantly driven by the artist, which never straying from the enduring, the camera acts as the defining rod and each film a rung on the ladder to the ascent of enquiry through film. Beautiful and transfixing and nostalgic, there is something about these films that I want to last forever; a multi-faceted obsession of experience and happenings or the half remembered almost forgotten recording of it amass to become a succinct, voluptuary and urgent language. What she constructs is something exemplary and extra subjective in a way, a carefree highlighting that shame is imperative, with the anonymity of the artist serving as a compulsive part of the intrigue. Glorious parallels and stirring images - we can only sit and watch; transfixed.

Delicate Fucking drawings
by Paul Kindersley

Faint outlines crossing over each other, intertwining blue wobbly lines, an eye, a nipple, labia, penis, lips, nose? From Buchanan’s drawings we can start to piece together the sexual act from its isolated ingredients. The line leading us from one to another, on its way making new titillating connections, and drawing us into its world. The erratic lines start to create a new anatomy of some recognisable and other new bodily parts. We become the excited voyeur, our eye led from lip to knee to breast, creating a unique sexual configuration. The eye, the biro, the viewer, the artist, all merge, and together, like a tentative finger we slowly caress and explore what we see before us.The continuous line dribbles from the biro as it makes love to the paper through the drawing process. The biro becomes an extension of the sexual organ, ejaculating onto the clean white paper. The hand as the memory of the act works in unison with the biro to create the image. The drawings become a mixture of the remembered sexual encounter and evidence of a new sexual creation. Each subtle movement, nook, and twist of the line becoming a new erogenous zone, in its creation, and also in its viewing. The orgasmic biro spill traces its shuddering climax across the page. Gasping white spaces where the line stops, a sharp intake of breath before the frenzied drawing starts again. Line enters line, rolls around, turns back and attacks itself. The drawing so caught up in the act that all regard for its own boundaries, edges and reality is lost. What started as sex itself, became stored in the memory, and then expelled onto the page, a messy yet enchanting version of the original enchanting yet messy act. The sprawling shapes trying not only to capture the constant movement, thrusts and convolutions, but the Artist’s involvement in its creation too. As we encounter the work, what at first seems a delicate and insubstantial sketch quickly starts to quicken the pulse as we stitch together its intentions with our own memories. Like the heroine in The Story of O, Buchanan is blindfolded to draw and is lead into a world of sexual stimulation, adventures and discovery. Down corridors in the castle of her imagination, revisiting partners, pornography and encounters until the start to merge as one, situations spanning the real and the imagined. Through the absence of the visual she feels out her drawings, at once awkward and enjoyable, like sex itself.