Kitty Hillier was born in London in 1984 and grew up in rural Dorset and Somerset. After completing her Foundation year at Falmouth Art School she gained her degree in Fine Art Painting at Bath Spa University in 2007 and then undertook a year-long residency at Hazlegrove School. Alongside her practice Kitty has run a number of workshops for adults and children, most notably as lead artist for Somerset Art Works on The Great Crane Project, in partnership with the WWT and RSPB, to cultivate support and excitement among local communities for the reintroduction of cranes onto the Somerset levels.
Kitty won the Reveal Emerging Artist Award in 2009 with a show at Black Swan Arts, Frome and she was awarded the SAW Abundance commission in 2013 which included a two week residency at Stroud Valley Arts and site-specific installation at Cannington Gardens.
Her research continues to be rooted in what’s above and below the surface, with a belief that all things are delicately interconnected.
“I’m interested in the idea that re-connecting and gaining a better understanding of nature, the ocean and landscape is the key to creating a more harmonious world for humanity, ‘imagining a future world in which science, society and a heightened awareness of environmentalism intersect’1 – to create a new symbiosis.” KH
Kitty returned to Falmouth in 2015 where she now lives and works from a studio at Islington Wharf Boatyard. Her work is held in private and corporate collections internationally.
1 Mark Cocker in conversation with Jem Southam about his book ‘Our Place’
My current practice uses anti-narrative abstract painting to explore an engagement with energy and natural forces through science, art, poetry, psychology and mythology.
Seemingly tranquil, my paintings consist of simple abstract shapes, derived from close observation of everyday details while out walking in the landscape. Paths are captured crudely at the time or half remembered and shaped by imagined stories, histories and unseen realities. Despite their outward tranquillity, these abstracted forms conjure thoughts of huge sea creatures deep underwater, planetary systems, or the microscopic and atoms of energy that connect all things, conveying a sense of an indeterminable threat bubbling underneath the surface.
Paintings are titled on completion, usually referencing a specific encounter or piece of research from the time of making. This can help to give the viewer permission to enter the work and bring their own narratives to it.
Small Ships, Falmouth 2019
Curves & Edges, At the Space CARO, Bruton and artist talk for local students 2018
SVA Exchange residency show, Stroud and artist talk 2013
Round Tower, Black Swan Arts, Frome and artist talk 2010
Hazlegrove residency show, Sparkford 2009
SELECTED GROUP SHOWS
Imagine, Falmouth Art Gallery 2019
Circle Contemporary, Cornwall 2019
Penwith Gallery, St Ives 2018 + 2019
Telling Tales, Brewhouse, Taunton 2017
The Art School, Beside the Wave Gallery, Cornwall & London 2017
Ann Sacks, Design Week, Chelsea Harbour London 2017
Quiddity Fine Art, Andover 2015
Guggleton Gallery, Stalbridge 2014
Moorwood Art, Bruton 2014
Abundance, Cannington Walled Garden site-specific sculpture and artist talk 2013
Blurred Edges, (2-person show) Walcot Chapel, Bath 2013
An Ideal Soup, Willesden Green Gallery, London 2012
Pattern, Colour, Mood, Musgrove Hospital Gallery, Taunton 2012
Art for Youth, Royal College of Art, London 2011
Mystery & Mutability, (2-person show) Bridgwater Art Centre 2011
Harlesden Gallery, Tricycle Theatre Kilburn 2011
AAF, Battersea, London 2010
At Nature’s Font, Central Gallery, Great Malvern 2010
Twelve, Musgrove Gallery, Taunton 2009
Vitamin B, Old Truman Breweries, London 2007
AWARDS & COMMISSIONS
SAW Abundance commission, Cannington Walled Gardens, Bridgwater 2013
Won the Reveal Somerset Emerging Artist Award, 2009
Won the Bruton Arts Society Award 2003
Morimaru, North Sea Thinkers 2019, artist takeover North Sea Thinkers Apr 2020
Studio 1850 – interview 2018, exhibited at Krowji open studios event 2019
Tom Raffield, Noctis Collection, interior photoshoot 2018
SVA Exchange, Stroud 2013 (2 weeks)
Hazlegrove, Sparkford 2008 (1 year)
The Great Crane Project, SAW in partnership with WWT and RSPB. Lead artist – painting workshops with the local community and school groups in Othery and Slimbridge, planning and installation of final exhibition (3 months) 2012
Summer workshops for children age 6+, supporting Alexandra Ostroumoff at Somerset New Art Group, 2012
River Parrett Project, SAW, Ilminster. Lead artist – drawing and creative writing workshop (1 day) 2009
King’s School Bruton, land art workshop and artist talk (3 days) 2009
Hazlegrove, running art club during residency (1 year) 2008
Launched @pubsketching January, 2020
Selected for Falmouth Intensives 2018
Konvertible, collaborative work supporting artist Lisa Cheung and Sammy Delgado Escobar, Taunton Library 2013
1st class honours BA Fine Art Painting, Bath Spa University 2007
Foundation Diploma, Falmouth School of Art 2004