Warwickshire County Council’s County Record Office has been partnered with leading contemporary British artist, paper sculptor, researcher and drag king Lady Kitt as part of an innovative arts and heritage project called ‘Meeting Point’.
Contemporary arts agency, Arts&Heritage, has announced the partnership today as part of its ‘Meeting Point’ programme in the Midlands.
The Arts Council England-funded programme forges relationships between museum and heritage spaces and artists, resulting in the creation of new artworks. It’s an opportunity for artists to work with unique collections and unlock access to the knowledge of museum curators, whilst supporting small and medium scale museums and heritage spaces to develop skills in commissioning new contemporary art for local audiences to experience.
Lady Kitt is a paper sculptor, researcher and drag king, based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Kitt describes their work as "Mess Making as Social Glue, driven by insatiable curiosity to explore, share and (gently) incite the social functions of stuff that gets called art.” Kitt is a trustee of Crafts Council, founding member of disabled artist-led consortium Disconsortia and North East co-lead of Social Art Network UK.
Kitt has recently shown work at Atlanta Contemporary (USA), Saatchi Gallery London (UK) and is currently Maker in Residence at Durham University. In 2020-21 Kitt is one of nine "Constellations" artists with UP Projects and Flat Time House.
Now in its fifth year, ‘Meeting Point’ continues to bring new interest to participating museums and enables audiences to view collections and history in a different way, helping support the future sustainability of museums and heritage sites and find ways to tell heritage stories from new perspectives.
Stephanie Allen, Executive Director at Arts&Heritage, said: “Despite the ongoing challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Meeting Point has continued at pace and we’re delighted to have worked with the participating museums to select the artists that will join us on the programme. “Each artist put forward an ambitious and creative proposal that sparked the imagination of the Meeting Point museums, and it will be exciting to see how they work together to reimagine the museums’ stories and present them in an entirely new way. “As well as producing great art, Meeting Point is also a learning programme; an opportunity for museum professionals to learn how to work collaboratively with artists and each other, and incorporate more contemporary art within their own programming.”
Lady Kitt, who will be working with Warwickshire County Record Office, said: "I’ve been absolutely blown away by the thoughtfulness and generosity with which Warwickshire County Record Office staff approach the stories in their care. “I’m dead excited to spend the next year learning more about their approaches and working alongside communities of local people to explore and celebrate the rich, fascinating, and unusual stuff we find in the archive.”
Councillor Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Heritage & Culture, said: “I am thrilled that Lady Kitt will be working with our staff and volunteers at the County Record Office, as it will give them access to such rich resources to draw upon from our county heritage collections, to inspire the artwork that we will go on to share with our communities in Warwickshire.”
Over the next few months, the Lady Kitt will work with County Record Office staff and volunteers to develop their ideas. Their responses to Warwickshire’s collections will bring a fresh perspective to heritage stories for local audiences. The artwork will be put on display over the next two years.
Since 2016, Meeting Point has worked with 25 museums and more than 50 museum professionals to create 25 new artworks and deliver over 100 workshops. Arts&Heritage is funded by Arts Council England.
For more information about Meeting Point and Arts&Heritage, visit www.artsandheritage.org.uk.
For more information about artist Lady Kitt, visit www.lladykitt.com.