In With The Old

Kitty Finer

In With The Old with artist and musician Kitty Finer is the first instalment of Common Ground, 2019–20.

Interested in how older generations can still be culturally relevant, Kitty brings together Milton Keynes’ young and old to create a multigenerational body of work including film, fashion and furnishings.

See below for more details

17 June – 31 August 2019

Over a series of free artist-led events, family workshops and professional development sessions with Milton Keynes young people, residents at nearby retirement housing and our publics will collaborate with guest artists Marcia Farquhar, Real Friends, Blues Store, Season Butler, Jane Howard, Alex Brenchley, Joe Hales, Ben Anderson, Big Shop Friday, Tania Chant, Penny Klein, Daniel Chehade and Lauren Godfrey and Kitty to explore themes of memory, story-telling and legacy to create an intergenerational scene in the Arts Centre’s gallery.

Kitty collaborates with young people to build an interactive installation in the form of a shop in the Arts Centre’s gallery, instigating the launch of a MK based fashion label, and will become home to a growing collection of donated garments prompting stories and happenings throughout In With The Old. New creations will feature alongside the old clothes in the shop, highlighting the importance of the past and the future within present fashion trends.

Through workshops led by Kitty with elderly Milton Keynes residents, drawings and doodles will become the inspiration in a series of clothing designs created by young people with graphic designer, Daniel Chehade. A selection of designs will be printed onto tee-shirts, creating a new fashion label. The fashion label, name and logo to be designed be young people, will be the catalyst for making a scene and creating hype in an exploration of the modern phenomena of influencers, social media hype, and clothing “drops”.

Inspired by the elderly, designed by the young and worn by all.

Taking inspiration from the spirit of well-considered and constructed children’s television, Kitty and company create a pilot for a show aimed at intergenerational audiences from early years to OAPs. Through artist-led workshops in set design, costume making, singing and song writing, families and elderly residents will create FABA content; for the audience by the audience.

Using a selection of the garments donated from Milton Keynes communities, artist Lauren Godfrey and MK College students will compose layers of texture, pattern and colour to create a series of still life drawings. The folds and undulations of the fabrics are distilled into a blur of colours and textures, existing as a sort of alluring and abstracted landscape. Repeated and overlapped, drawings will form the design for a limited edition fabric, and will be turned into uplifting table cloths and soft furnishings.


Kitty Finer studied in her home town London before moving to Bristol and then Glasgow to further studies in Fine Art, where she also became interested in live social events as performative installations. Performing in bands and running nightclubs became pivotal to Kitty’s practice, running regular events at The Horse Hospital, revolving around records and performance which soon led to Artists Behind Bars; one night only event celebrating spontaneous structures of hospitality for artists and public who share an interest in the (part time) role of bartending.

Kitty combines her visual and performative art practice to make ‘happenings’ happen, exploring ways to entertain diverse audiences from early years to OAPs, both within and out of the familiar gallery settings.

Inspired by her parent’s punk spirit and grandmothers post war make do and mend mentality, Kitty’s approach to making embraces the spirit of DIY.
Being resourceful and making something out of nothing is inherited from her grandmother Jean, who at the age of 93 has become Kitty’s influencer.

Her clothes were passed down to Kitty in recent years, which Kitty admired throughout her childhood and today as a young woman. She wears these clothes when visiting her grandmother, the outfits trigger memories for them both and prompts stories to be shared.

Recent performances and collaborations include appearances at Latitude Festival, The Idler Festival, Super Normal Festival, Fuji Rock, Japan; The British Library, The Horse Hospital; and Richard Wilson’s A Slice of Reality. Kitty recently released her EP – “A-SIDE” and is touring her one woman musical Me and Johnny Love in DIY spaces and living rooms around the UK.
Further reading


Find out about other upcoming Events as part of In With The Old – Kitty Finer

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