Approved: 16.08.2006

Kirk Palmer


Approved: 16.08.2006
  • Location: London
  • Categories: Film & Video, Photography



Kirk Palmer was born in Northampton, UK and trained at the Royal College of Art in London. Whilst a student he was awarded a scholarship to study in Japan at Kyoto City University of Arts, leading to an exhibition at Kyoto Art Center. He has won and been shortlisted for various art prizes, including prestigious awards from The Conran Foundation and The Elephant Trust. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally with solo shows in London and Berlin, and group shows including: 'Anticipation', David Roberts Art Foundation, London; 'In Our World: New Photography in Britain', Galleria Civica di Modena, Italy; and 'Natural Wonders: New Art From London', Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow. Palmer’s film ‘Hiroshima’ was screened as part of Tate Modern’s recent 'Conflict, Time, Photography exhibition' and will be installed alongside the final instalment of his 'August Shadows' trilogy 'War's End: An Island Of Remembrance' at Hiroshima and Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museums in the exhibition 'The 70th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki: War and Peace'.  He lives and works in London.


Work statement

Kirk Palmer’s work explores the existential nature of human relationships with the world through an exploration of the temporal landscape and sense of place using still and moving images. In 2005, Palmer began 'August Shadows', a trilogy of moving image works - Murmur (2006), Hiroshima (2007) and War's End: An Island of Remembrance (2012) - as well as photographic works, including the recent series 'A Surrounding Trace' (2013) and 'Precious Fragments (2014)'. Centred upon Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and, by extension, Yakushima, all these works examine how historical events manifest in the present-day physical substance of place, where the pall of the atomic bombings remains a latent, unifying presence. 

Palmer has returned to Hiroshima and/or Nagasaki each August as part of an evolving, personal engagement with the people and landscapes of these places devastated by the atomic bombings of World War II. These historical events are irresolvable, unfathomable, beyond comprehension, but it is exactly because of this that Palmer has pursued the awful legacies of nuclear war and its ongoing effects. Consequently, his moving and still image work eschews gratuitous imagery of the war and its after-effects in favour of nuance, not to assuage the horrors but to encourage a contemplative and reflective response from the viewer to the atomic bombing of Japan.

All his work on the subject of the atomic bombings can be understood as an attempt to 'reach' those particular places in time, because as the survivors grow more elderly and frail it is ever more pressing that we do not forget.

CV & Education

Kirk Palmer

Born 1971 in Northampton, UK Lives and works in London




MA Fine Art: Photography, Royal College of Art, London
(incl. one-term scholarship to Kyoto City University of Arts, Kyoto)




A Window To The World (The 45th Video Art Program): Kirk Palmer, solo installation, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima

Remembering Absence, solo exhibition, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London


August Shadows: Reflections on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, film screening, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London

Kirk Palmer - August Shadows, film screening, Fondazione Fotografia, Modena


Kirk Palmer - August Shadows, solo exhibition, Paradise Row, London


Kirk Palmer, solo exhibition, Matthew Bown Galleries, Berlin


Hiroshima, film screening, Sites of Conflict symposium, University of Nottingham

Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin and Kirk Palmer, film screening, Picturehouse ArtSpace, The Gate Cinema, Notting Hill, London


Hiroshima, debut solo exhibition, Paradise Row, London




Poussières D’images – Figures De L’informe, Cinéma des Cinéastes, Paris

A Handful of Dust (Dust/Histoires de Poussière), LE BAL, Paris
The 70th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki: War and

Peace, Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum & Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, (cat.)


Conflict, Time, Photography, Film, Tate Modern, London (cat.)


Rumble, Rattle and Spark, WOMAD Festival, Wiltshire (cat.)


Drawings, Paradise Row gallery, London


Based on a True Story, ArtSway, Sway (cat.)

Salon Video Art Prize – Part 1, MRA Project Space, London


Natural Wonders: New Art From London, Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow Landscape As A Dream, Studio la Città gallery, Verona (cat.)

In Two Minds, Eleven Spitalfields gallery, London

Bursary Winners Screening, Reading Experimental Film Festival (REFF), Reading

Art Brussels 2009 with Studio la Città gallery, Brussels


In Our World: New Photography in Britain, Galleria Civica, Modena (cat.)

Zoo Art Fair with Paradise Row gallery, The Royal Academy, London

NEXT Art Fair with Paradise Row gallery, Chicago


Anticipation, David Roberts Art Foundation, London

Zelda Rubinstein – A Group Show, Paradise Row gallery at Princelet St, London

Videoclub: The Finale, Lighthouse, Brighton

Zoo Art Fair with Paradise Row gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, London

Video London Archives. Festival de Videoarte del Mercado de las Flores, Madrid

Video London 2 @ LOOP, Convento de San Augustín, Barcelona


Video London 2 @ FEM 6 (Festival Edición Madrid), Madrid Selected Works, Conran Foundation, London

Seekquences, Chain Gallery, London

Digital Space, Showroom Cinema, Sheffield

Videoclub: The Finale, Fabrica, Brighton

Zoo Art Fair, with Paradise Row gallery, London

Cannibal Ferox, Paradise Row gallery & T1+2 Art Space, London

Welcome to Paradise, Paradise Row gallery, London

Still In Motion, Leonard Street Gallery, London

The End of Civilization, Port Elliot Literary Festival, Cornwall

Case Study 2, Plymouth Art Centre, Plymouth


Video London @ LOOP, Espai Ubu, Barcelona

16th International Student Exhibition, Kyoto Art Center, Kyoto

La Lenteur (Slowness), Prix Leica, Royal College of Art, London




The Elephant Trust Grant Salon Video Art Prize (finalist)


REFF Bursary, Reading Experimental Film Festival


London Artists’ Film & Video Awards (LAFVA) (shortlist)


Conran Foundation Award

Axis MAstars – Selected Graduate Artist (selected by Brett Rogers)

The Deutsche Bank Pyramid Awards (finalist)


RCA Scholarship to Kyoto City University of Arts (KCUA) Prix Leica (finalist)



Remembering Absence, artist talk & screening, Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, Nagasaki, 21 September 2015

Remembering Absence, artist talk, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, 26 July 2015

Those Who Go East, artist talk & discussion with sociologist Dr. Yoshitaka Mouri, Art Action UK, White Conduit Projects, London, 14 March 2015

Artist Talk: ‘Remembering Absence’ by Kirk Palmer, in conversation with writer & art historian Dr. Mark Rawlinson, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London,
17 February 2015

Kirk Palmer - August Shadows, screening & artist talk, Fondazione Fotografia, Modena, December 2014

August Shadows – Reflections on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, screening & artist talk, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, London, 8 July 2014

Sites of Conflict symposium, in conversation with art writer & curator Dr. Simon Baker and writer & art historian Prof. Carol Mavor, University of Nottingham,
2 July 2008

Picturehouse ArtSpace, The Gate Cinema, in conversation with Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin and David Campany, 4 March 2008



In Print

The 70th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings on Hiroshima & Nagasaki: War & Peace, publ. Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum/Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum 2015

Conflict, Time, Photography - Armageddon In Retrospect by Simon Baker, Tate 2014 Are You A Lucky Artist?, Francesca Lazarini (ed.) published by Skira 2010
Based On A True Story by David Trigg, Frieze Magazine, Issue 134, October 2010 Landscape As A Dream, Flash Art, Issue #263, January-February 2009

Natural Wonders: New Art from London, Frieze Magazine - Max Seddon, March 2009 New Photography in Britain, by Filippo Maggia, published by Skira 2008
London: Paradise Row, Contemporary magazine, annual edition 2007
Kirk Palmer - Hiroshima, review by Rebecca Geldard, Time Out - London, July 2007 RCA Photography 2006: Kirk Palmer, catalogue text, in conversation with John Slyce


Awakening ‘Forgetful Spaces’ review by Jessica Holtaway, April 2015

Kirk Palmer. Remembering Absence, Wall Street International – Art, January 2015

Trauma and Memory in the works of Kirk Palmer, essay by Marco Bohr, March 2013 kirk-palmer/

Drawings, review by Bruna Volpi, Dazed & Confused (Dazed Digital), February 2012

Japón: historia, presente y espíritu, review by Ignacio Meroni

Are you a lucky artist? + Daido Moriyama’s big retrospective in Modena, September 29

In Our World: New Photography in Britain, Francesca Baboni, April 2008

Laura K Jones on Kirk Palmer at Paradise Row, London, Saatchi Art, June 2007 zealand/laura_k_jones_on_kirk_palmer_a

Laura K Jones on Anticipation: London’s Best Emerging Artists, Saatchi Art, June 2007 zealand/anticipation_londons_best_emer

MA Stars 2006 - Kirk Palmer, text by selector Brett Rogers, July 2006