Castlefield Gallery Associates Spotlight: Lady Kitt

Posted on 12 September 2023

This month we have asked Lady Kitt to contribute to our Castlefield Gallery Associates Spotlight series, in which current Castlefield Gallery Associates share their thoughts on what the programme offers and how it has been useful for them.

Can you tell us a little bit about your practice?

I call my work Mess Making As Social Glue, it includes installation making, research, mentoring, dance and drag. The wild ambition of my practice is dismantling and mischievously re-crafting spaces and systems I find inaccessible (as a Disabled person), obsolete or just quite dull. I tend to work on long term, collaborative projects, often with:

·  queer performance troupe “DGA”

·  disabled artist-led “kin collective”

·  my two children

·  Researcher Dr Tina Sikka

Usually projects include co-creation of large-scale, vibrant installations made from recycled paper, reused plastics and raw clay, which I call shrines.

These are inspired by English folk traditions (like clootie wells) and the Catholic shrines I visited as a child in Portugal. I’m always excited by the invitation to “get involved” in places of pilgrimage and the encouragement to add to, and nurture, a collective whole through gifts, prayers, or votive offerings. The shrines I make are created with low carbon crafting techniques and materials. I often co-design and make the main structure of the space with a small group, then inviting others to add to it over time with objects or actions. These are not religious places, but they can open / hold space for mystical doings and beings. The shrines are sometimes experienced as installations, sometimes as settings for performances, workshops, rituals and often a mix of all of these.

Some other stuff that has also happened as part of my work is:

·  Raw clay paddling pool dances (“Pleasure Imprints” 2023)

·  Policy changes (“enSHRINE Project” 2020-on )

·  An international, ecofeminist art magazine for, and by, children (“(small but) FIERCE” 2018-on)

How did you hear about Castlefield Gallery Associates and why did you want to join?

I heard about it through a friend and wanted to join to grow my connections with North West artists, particularly those interested in  social  / sociable  art, access Castlefield’s artist development opportunities which offer something different to other organizations  I’m connected to and be part of an artist community supported by an artist patron who is a Disabled person.

What are you looking forward to most about your coming year’s membership?

Hopefully visiting the gallery in person sometime soon (I’m based in Newcastle) and meeting / getting to know the work of other artist members.

Find out more about Castlefield Gallery Associates here