Jess Kidd West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
  Back to profiles

I'm a Yorkshire based, multi-disciplinary artist, with a current focus on mixed media painting. I graduated in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, London, 2008. I am inspired by art that provokes people to reconsider the familiar or mundane. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) informs both my creative process and my subject matter.

After moving back home, I was captivated by the unique Pennine post-industrial landscape, I'd taken for granted as a child. I love to experiment, play with, and manipulate materials, and I'm driven by a passionate intention to convey my interpretations of reality.

I am absorbed by how CBT can teach you to challenge negative thoughts. I researched CBT to overcome anxieties about my own artistic capabilities, after a period of illness which greatly eroded my confidence. Whilst exploring creative techniques, I challenge negative thoughts, letting me be engrossed in the moment, meaning I am open to taking risks, making mistakes, and discovering new ways of working.

I enjoy combining different paints and media, creating methods such as layering light delicate marks of watercolour with thick textured oils. I often start with purely instinctive mark-making. In this initial phase it is important that I 'find my joy.' I believe if I truly enjoy creativity in the moment, this expression should transfer to viewers later. I started using Cold Wax Medium with my oils. It seems to have a mind of its own, which helps me loosen up. After this spontaneous layer, I pause and assess what is crucial in the composition to communicate what I intend.

Although I experienced a prolonged period of serious illness in my mid 20s, resulting in my practice taking an unexpected back seat, my art has re-emerged recently, and I am thriving once again. In 2023, I was awarded both the Scott Creative Arts Foundation, Emerging Artist Award; and the Joan Day Painting Bursary by South Square Centre, Thornton, resulting in time to develop my practice and a two month solo exhibition.

In order to connect to a wider audience I have exhibited in a variety of spaces, such as a dis-used department store in my hometown, Keighley; and the open air, UNESCO City of Film, Big Screen, in Centenary Square, Bradford. I aim to encourage celebration and appreciation of where we live, rather than apathy or negativity. Like many northern post-industrial towns, Keighley has struggled for years with economic/social decline. Growing up here, I took for granted regular negative remarks about the town. Now as a returned adult, I wonder how these little habitual digs at this place, affect the lives living here.

Since Covid and experiencing unexpected grief, I have distilled the theories of CBT, into simply 'finding joy': whether through finding beauty in unexpected places or translating my love of colour, texture or composition into something she can share.

Interested in
Art Walk/TrailArtist TalkArts vacancyCompetitionConferenceContemporary art fairExhibitionJournal/PublicationMentoringParticipatory projectResidencyWorkshop
CollageDrawingPaintingSocially Engaged PracticeText
Other keywords