Art Confined

Arts Council Funded Hits: 231

Art Confined and Feral Futures - Social art in a time of social distance (PDF)

Together over lockdown, Lady Kitt facilitated a socially-engaged live-art/craft project focused around the question:

“How the hell do we “do” social practice in a socially distanced world?”

​Through text, images, video and a publication, they documented some of the stuff that’s happened so far. We also suggest and imagine things we could all do to build and nourish creative connections (or “creative intimacies”), even when we find ourselves physically apart. For them, it’s vital to carry on finding and sharing tools and actions that tenderly incite and fiercely care for these precious and delicately unfolding points of contact.

The project was produced in collaboration with Sofia Barton, Sarah Li, Adam Carruthers, Kev Howard, Finn Ratford, Edwin Li and members of the DGA.

Click on the tabs below for image descriptors for the PDF

Pages 1-10 & Cover

Cover:

Title in pink and reading downwards: Art Confined

Image description: The cover is made up of lots of smaller images aligned together in a grid-like format. It is five images across and three images down. All the images feature individually in the book. One of them is a shaved headed human wearing a mask with a pink paper cut artwork of leaves coming down out of the mask. Another is a couple wearing paper cut headdresses against a blue background. The third image is of a child with a dark background but illuminated by bright light wearing a strawberry paper cut necklace. The next image is of a man stood in a church wearing a paper cut arm cuff with leaves and chilis. The last image is of a woman with her arms raised behind her head, wearing a paper cut head piece of chilis.

Page One:

Writing pink and purple:

Art Confined and Feral Futures: Social Practice in a Time of Social Distance

Page Two:

Page description: pink background with white writing.

“In this unprecedented time of a global pandemic, we all face challenges of social isolation and mental wellbeing through ‘Lockdown’ restrictions. Whilst difficult to navigate, plan and implement, social art practitioners can and will hold a vital place in our communities. Lady Kitt is creating projects which actively encourage, promote, and include opportunities for individuals to come together in safe ways to create art and change.

Kitt’s practice has reacted and responded to the situation, whilst still retaining their core voice and ideas. 'Art Confined and Feral Futures’ is a prime example of how the artist has stimulated conversation, collaboration, and a sense of togetherness through acts of making.

This project encourages us to think about how and what we can do to create a simple positive impact upon each other's day-to-day lives. The act of making 3D paper objects, safe collection and assembly of a ‘final’ artwork, creates a feeling of inclusion, connectivity and community.”

Mark Devereux, Director MDP, 2020

Page Three:

Page description: pink background with white writing.

“I really like your use of the phrase ‘creative intimacies’ – I think that you have made it clear that this is possible in socially distanced circumstances. In situations, both within COVID’s threat and beyond or outside of it… the methods by which we make art together and/or create social actions can be the same. I think the project can be seen to show this.”

Art Confined Co-author*, 2020

* Throughout the text some quotes are not attributed to specific individuals but to “Art Confined Co-author, 2020”, this is because these quotes were taken from anonymised feedback gathered at the end of the project.

Page Four:

Image credit - Sarah Li.

Image description: Kitt, a white shaven headed human, stands in front of a giant, purple, paper shrine installation. Kitt is looking towards the installation facing away from us, with a roll of tape in their hand. Behind Kitt, the giant purple paper cut out has lots of smaller cut outs hanging in its holes and little lights illuminating the smaller cut outs. The cinema artwork on the walls are big colourful shapes that lie to the right of Kitt’s work.

Page Five:

Title in pink: Acknowledgements

'Art Confined' is a live-art, craft project conceived and facilitated by Lady Kitt, created alongside co-authors Sofia Barton, Sarah Li, Adam Carruthers, Kev Howard, Finn Ratford, Edwin Li and members of the DGA.*

This publication, and the installation it documents, have been commissioned by Disconsortia* as part of the "A Place at the Table" commissions, funded by Arts Council England.

* North East based Drag collective.

** Disconsortia is a North East based Disabled artist-led consortium.

Page Six:

Image credit - Sarah Li.

Image description: Close up image of a small section of the artwork made by Lady Kitt. Paper cut artwork, made with pink and purple paper, shaped like a fan. It has intricate cuttings in the purple paper that resemble lace and the pink paper peeps through underneath. There are shadows behind it on an off-white background.

Page Seven:

Title in pink: Introduction

“Art Confined and Feral Futures”: Wild art and change conceived in quiet confinement.

I’m a person-who-makes-art-with-people. This approach to being creative gets called all sorts of snazzy stuff: social practice, participatory art, community craftivism. I’m not really dead concerned about which term we use but am super keen to communicate that connecting with people through and for creativity, is essential to the work I do.

The togetherness that happens through collaborative creativity doesn’t just produce art; it makes space. Space for growing. Growing thoughts and understandings, communities, actions, strength and change.

The COVID19 lockdown brought with it an immediate halt to most of my projects. The initial impact of this was: no collaborating, no creative focus, no income. All pretty challenging personally, professionally, creatively. The central creative challenge was:

“How the hell do we “do” social practice in a socially distanced world?”

Page Eight:

And this is the question I’ve posed to myself and a small group of co-authors. On my adventures I’ve been guided, supported and excited by these astonishing people as we’ve worked alongside one another collaboratively via post and digital technologies. These are people with whom I already have creative connections (some developing for over a decade, others a few months old). People who, during lockdown, were (like me) thinking about art, wishing for change in the world and missing people.

Together over the last 5 months we’ve scrummaged around in and played about with my question:

“How the hell do we do” social practice in a socially distanced world?”

Through text and images, this publication documents some of the stuff that’s happened so far. It also suggests and imagines things we could all do to build and nourish creative connections (or “creative intimacies”, as I’ve come to call them), even when we find ourselves physically apart. For me, it’s vital to carry on finding and sharing tools and actions that tenderly incite and fiercely care for these precious and delicately unfolding points of contact.

Page Nine:

Credits:

Co-authors: Sofia Barton, Finn Ratford, Edwin and Sarah Li, Kev Howard, Adam Curruthers, and Members of the Alterative Drag collective “DGA”.

I have been very fortunate to receive funding for this project in the form of grants and commissions from:

Arts Council England, Disconsortia and Summer in the City Festival (Durham University).

My investigations have also been supported and enlivened by conversations with:

Two Destination Language (and my fellow FIELD Ecologists), Daniel Russell, Constellations artists and facilitators (with UP Projects and Flat Time House), Bridie Jackson, Lisette Auton and Mark Devereux.

This book has been compiled, designed and edited by my creative producer Sarah Li.

The images of the installation are in The Star and Shadow Cinema space, the actual cinema space itself is an artwork made by artist AK Knol.

And finally, last but not least, in this seemingly endless list of gratitudes, thank you Vici Wreford-Sinnott, Alix Collingwood-Swinburn, Axisweb, the folks at Star and Shadow Cinema and fellow Social Art Network members for providing a variety of support and encouragement to make this project happen.

Page Ten:

Image credit - Lady Kitt.

Image description: Kitt's hand on top of grey paper, on top of an artist cutting board. Around Kitt's wrist is a paper cut artwork made by Kitt, consisting of chili peppers in red and yellow with a green leaf behind them.