Monday, 6 October 2008

What's in a name?

It’s a question I’ve been asked many times. Why Frillip Moolog? Why not just use your own name, Kirsty Smith?
Well back in April 2006 when I first set up my website I discovered that Kirsty Smith is really quite a common name but more importantly, if you Google, “Kirsty Smith”, you get a porn star. Not wanting to be confused with this blonde beauty I decided to go for something completely different.
Frillip Moolog originates from an essay that I’d written a few years earlier. I’d been inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. I made an installation which investigated a world where objects weren’t fit for purpose and broke free from their normal rules of use (the genesis of my current art practice). Lewis Carroll famously made up his own words; chortle and burble are two examples and his poem, Jabberwocky. So Frillip Moolog is a name that I made up originally making reference to things not being as they seemed and how they could be in an alternative world. Visually Frillip moolog alludes to mirrored words. I like the look of the name and if you roll your “R”s as we do in Scotland, then it sounds good too.

Since 2006 my practice has developed. I have investigated many areas of the art world to find where I fit in. Not easy to categorise being on the fringes of textiles, craft, sculpture and design. Although craftsmanship of execution is very important to me the concept, the narrative and the context in which the beings are seen are all crucial to my practice. I think as a Fine Artist but so often initial comments refer to how “well made” my work is. So I need to explain Frillip Moolog more simply, more clearly and in two concise sentences. I practiced my elevator pitch but still confused people by mentioning, “Beings from a Parallel Universe”. I was told that some might confuse this with some sort of religious cult…..
To try to create more awareness for Frillip Moolog I exhibited using it in place of my name to ensure that it would feature in the catalogue. This certainly led to more confusion. Was it an alter ego or a nom de plume? Was I using the name just to get attention? That would suggest that I wasn’t confident of getting attention on the work alone.
A few years ago I was advised to get the "Kirstyness" out of my work. But without the "Kirstyness" what would remain?

Frillip Moolog beings will never be just a product.

In a nutshell.
Frillip moolog is a name that I made up. It is a place in our minds or even a mindset where objects actually have personalities. They don’t actually walk and talk … but they could… if you let your imagination run wild. In my mind each of my sculptures or beings has his/her own unique personality. It is informed both by the materials and form of the piece and it evolves during the making process. I am interested in writing diaries of their fictitional lives but have held back as I don’t want to dictate how viewers interact with the beings. I don’t want to confine them to one possible personality. I want viewers to develop their own relationship with each Frillip Moolog being.

The beings can be seen as meditative objects. They bring back feelings, sensations and memories. They act as portals for us to return to a childhood space/ place in our minds. The name that I have given to this place is Frillip Moolog.

Alyson B. Stanfield’s articles on artist’s names and business names seemed to have been written for me. and

The key thing that she said in her newsletter back in July is,
“Decide how you want to go down in the history books and stick with it.”
Simple really… Kirsty E. Smith. Frillip Moolog is part of me something that my work is currently about but I will always be Kirsty E. Smith.
And…. my Google ratings are doing pretty well now. No need to worry about the porn star!


mand said...

Great essay! Full of Kirstyness - and that's a positive attribute. I feel more informed now than when i got up this morning.

And yes, you appear twice in the top five when i search. Well done.

Unknown said...

Hi Kirsty, Antonio here! Just thought I'd say hi, hope you're enjoying America