On Whose Shoulders We Build: Spotlight on – Lady Kitt

Disability Arts in the North East – A Living Archive

A tribute to all the disabled artists and groups who have made up the Disability Arts Movement past and present

About Lady Kitt

Kitt is an artist, researcher & drag king based in, and proudly from, the North East. They describe their work as “Mess Making as Social glue, driven by a sense of mischief and insatiably curiosity about how art can be useful”. Through collaborative creativity Kitt invites others to join them in creating objects, interactions & events.

Things that have happened as part of their work include a traveling shrine to sustainability made from domestic plastic waste (“sustain”, 2022-on), policy changes (“enSHRINE” 2020-23) & ”(small but) FIERCE”, and an international, feminist art magazine for, and by, children.  Kitt is co-lead for Social Art Network (SAN) North East, trustee for Crafts Council UK, a member of disabled artist-led art rabble “kin collective” & a member of the ITAC (International Teaching Artists Collaborative) Climate Collective.  Kitt’s work has been shown at Atlanta Contemporary (USA), The Centre for Restorative Justice (USA) and Saatchi Gallery London (UK).

Kitt is currently working on enSHRINE (2020-23) an ACE and AHRC funded project exploring collaborative making as a catalyst for organizational change particularly focused on co-creation, accessibility and “planet-kind” practices.


Kitt’s statement on the exhibition

“People are not hard to reach, they are easy to ignore”, Phil Douglas, Executive Producer of Curious Arts (North East based LGBTQIA+ Arts Festival), 2018.

“This phrase has formed and informed much of my work and thinking. I like its directness. Taking a funding-speak staple of the “hard to reach audience”, turning it inside out to expose its inherent flaws. The phrase itself communicates something about how it sometimes feels to be disabled / LGBTQIA+ in the North East, but it’s more than that. It suggests approaches that seem like they’re grown here: tactics to bureaucratic art-talk which use mischievous clarity to scrummage around in, and delicately dismantle, this grossly paternalistic othering. It suggests a deep-rooted welcoming attitude led by curiosity, openness, and care. Sometimes I come to the phrase, and it feels like a searing indictment of endemic divisiveness. Other times it’s brimming with possibilities and hope. Either way it’s always an inspiration and an invitation to do more useful, more flexible thinking, making and being.”


Kitt’s projects

Lady Kitt has a variety of a projects spanning from the past few years to current. From incredible paper installations and Drag King performances to being an artist in residence and having heritage projects commissioned. Find out more about Lady Kitt and all their projects here.


View the On Whose Shoulders We Build online exhibition