Jess Kidd and Letty McHugh
Local artists Jess Kidd and Letty McHugh celebrated the opening of their exhibition Worth at Keighley Creative on Saturday 25th September by introducing visitors to their work and lives as artists in Keighley.
Over 80 people attended on the day, enjoying the artworks which include a range of landscape paintings of Keighley, and a monumental set of banners which portray the sewing skills and crafts of women in Keighley throughout the ages. Together these collections of work look at how we place value on things, and celebrate stories connected to the Worth Valley.
Jess is a multi-disciplinary artist with a current focus on painting. She grew up in Keighley and studied Fine Art at Central St Martins, London. After moving back to Keighley Jess was inspired to begin experimenting with landscape painting for the first time,
“I became frustrated with people bad-mouthing my home town – Something that had been an accepted ‘norm’ growing up here. I decided to apply Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), something I was learning about in my own life, to my art practice. CBT works with the idea that thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and people’s physical reactions are all interlinked. At first this started as a tool to help me challenge negative thoughts and push my creative practice further, but soon I was inspired to focus on the subject matter of Keighley itself!”
In her current collection of paintings, Jess is showing Keighley nestled within the surrounding landscape. You can often find Parkwood Flats in them, and one set of paintings, A Morning in Keighley, is of the fantastic view from the top of the multi-story carpark in town. Jess hopes that if she makes art about Keighley, she is showing that Keighley is worth making art about! As an artist she wants to challenge people’s thoughts and feelings about the town and encourage us to celebrate and value the place where we live.
Letty is an artist and writer who has always called the Worth Valley home. Letty works in a wide variety of media, including film, print and textiles. Her work explores what connects our personal experiences, she is interested in people, their stories and the things that connect us all.
Letty is showing This is Your Inheritance a long-running interactive project created to commemorate and celebrate the domestic textile skills of women which are routinely ignored and undervalued by society. The project involved over 130 women and culminated in an installation of ten banners and a companion book. Letty is particularly excited to show this installation in Keighley as many of the participants who generously shared stories and objects for the project also call this area home. The stories told in the project of women using textile skills to survive and thrive is part of Keighley’s history.
The exhibition runs until the 16th October and is open on Mondays, Thursdays (11am – 3pm) and Saturdays (10am – 4pm). Keighley Creative is in the old Sunwin House building on Hanover Street, Keighley, BD21 3QJ