International Artists at the Royal Drawing School: Khalif Thompson

Aug. 7, 2023

Khalif Tahir Thompson is a visual artist currently enrolled at Yale School of Art (US).  Incorporating painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, and paper-making into his practice, he explores notions of self through varied subjectivity concerning identity, race, iconography, as well as family and relationships.


What role does drawing play in your practice? 

Drawing plays a huge role within my practice, and fundamental to how I developed my skills in image making. As a drafting space, or towards a complete work, it has assisted my knowledge in composition, form, texture, and value. In my formative years, drawing provided me with an accessible language in which I could grow.   


What are you hoping to gain from the Dumfries House residency and your time in Scotland?

While I am completing my residency at Dumfries House and spending my time in Scotland, I wish to feel fully immersed in the estate's natural landscapes, gardens, and history. Using this time to reflect, relax, and ponder the lush countryside, while working on my practice. In particular, I am excited to visit many wonderful sights in the nation's hilly capital, Edinburgh, as well as visit the national and modern art museums in their port city of Glasgow. I hope to gain new insight and knowledge from this country and feel further inspired in my practice moving forward. 


Why do you think residency opportunities are important for emerging artists?

Residencies are imperative for artists, writers, and thinkers. It allows emerging artists a chance to develop their abilities away and in respective solitude. Having the ability to get away and concentrate on your practice is a privilege not allotted to every creative, and is pertinent towards expanding an artist's thinking and perspective on the world around us.   


What do you hope to take away with you from the residency?

I hope to take away a sense of accomplishment, having made it here, to a new country, and created something I'm proud of. I wish to leave here with a clear mind, having spent my time retreating from everyday life and being able to take some time away for myself. 



 What are your plans for the future?

I plan to continue working, and gaining new opportunities such as this. I am currently completing my graduate studies at the Yale School of Art, in pursuit of my MFA in Painting/Printmaking, and set to graduate next Spring. I also have my second solo show in Luxembourg at Zidoun Bossuyt Gallery, titled 'Who Knows Where The Time Goes' , the public opening being September 29th, 2023. 


Follow @khaliftahir