The Kith Collective

The Kith Artist Collective are the really Big Picture - an ongoing university success story, according to Janet Wootton (Fine Art 2007).

Janet and a number of fellow graduates were so inspired by their fine art studies at Nottingham and the people they met that they established a collective. It has enabled them to develop their personal artistic credentials, share critical feedback and exhibit together.

All have their own art practices, many have gone on to further art studies and several have won awards over the years. We meet the collective and share some of their work.

Anne Samuel - Time by the Sea.

Creating the 'Kith'

It was during a residency at the University of Nottingham Fine Arts department in 2016/2017 that Mo Scott (Fine Art, 2013) became concerned that the BA (Hons) Fine Art was closing and the camaraderie and support for each other would go, as she explains:

"Artists need collaboration to help create and develop their work, and amazing art was being produced by the students. During the final weeks before the closure of the Fine Arts department I collected the names of students who would like to meet up and form an artist collective."

On the social media site BaseCamp Mo advertised the meetings, which drew in past fine art students from previous years:

"The first meeting at Nottingham Contemporary was overwhelming - it was so good to meet so many old friends again and to make new ones from other years. Over the years people have come and gone but we have continued, even through the pandemic, and have a collective of ten artists."

The name for the group was decided, the 'Kith (meaning friends) Artist Collective'. The group still meets monthly at the Nottingham Contemporary and exhibit their work together twice a year.

Meet the collective (all Fine Art graduates):

Lydia Crump - Uta Feinstein - Pam Fletcher - Sara Gaynor - Nic Gear - Margaret Gettens - Anne Samuel - Mo Scott - Ju Smith - Janet Wootton.

What did you take from your time studying at Nottingham?

Mo Scott: "The love of art and working with other artists. Confidence with my art to think outside of the box.

"Not to be afraid to experiment and play, not only to learn from mistakes but mistakes can turn into an advantage and take you down a road not thought of previously. To think more deeply about a concept, an underlying theme, to have a focus."

Margaret Gettens (Fine Art, 2016): "I found my time at university enabled me to gain new confidence in myself, as well as develop my artistic practice. Having "allowed" myself to be defined by 40 years in business, my University experience developed my creative, lateral thinking skills in a field I love”.

Anne Samuel (Fine Art, 2013): “Doing my degree in Fine Art at the university was like a breath of fresh air. The course was stimulating and inspiring, offering insightful lectures and encouraging feedback.

"Gaining an art degree has set me on the path to progress and evolve in the ever changing Art world."

Uta Feinstein (Fine Art, 2016): “We learnt a lot about art history, especially modernism and post-modernism, and about influential artists. It opened our minds: to appreciate or create conceptual works or performance art and all the different disciplines from land art, sculpture to video, sound.

"It gave us support to develop our own ideas and methods or concepts and skills
Leave our comfort zones and experiment or free up and think outside the box.

"The degree opened doors to submit our works to exhibitions or organisations.
Enabled us to forge friendships, left us with joint memories and mutual support for current and future projects as a group.”

"Our art is contemporary, creative, imaginative and exploratory, with concepts, techniques and materials. Individual artists each have their own way of working.

"Themes or topics discussed by the collective can invite a moment for pause and inspire an emotional response which an artist can use and explore. Interweaved into the artists own concepts and art work.”

See the Kith Artist Collective's next exhibition between Tuesday 21 November-Sunday 26 November at the Nottingham Society of Artists Gallery, St Luke’s House, Friar Lane, Nottingham (near Nottingham Castle).

Can we share your Big Picture?

Whatever your story, we would love to hear it - and it could appear on these pages! Email and put 'Big Picture' in the subject line.