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Newsletter #2 October 2023

Updated: Nov 5, 2023



Since our last newsletter, the ‘Richard Kidd Archive’ has been fizzing away...

Over the last 6 months, it has become increasingly clear that we have to dedicate a relatively large chunk of time to make any headway with the project. One of the most time-consuming parts of this operation is to make a full inventory and digitise all of the ‘ephemeral’ material in the archive. This includes nearly 400 slides; boxes of photographs and letters; and stacks of obituaries, articles, exhibition invites, and reviews. These bits are incredibly important as they are often the only links we have to key people and places in Richard’s life and, often, the only evidence we have of a painting’s existence. We realised the best way of completing the digitisation was to get everything (ourselves included! ) together in one place. The obvious location, the city at the very heart of this project, was Newcastle upon Tyne.


Richard's studio behind Newcastle Central Station at Hanover Square, c.2002.


With the enormous generosity of friends, John and Jenny, we were able to set up camp in their house in Newcastle for the whole of October. Acquaintances from the Northeast and further afield came by to drop off boxes and folders that had been stored under beds and in attics for fifteen years or more. All of these offerings and artifacts embody the rich collective memory and legacy of Richard, and they are reminders of the wide-reaching support we have from family and friends. We aim to continue this and open it up to others with possibilities in the future for educational uses and new collaborations: a ‘Living Archive’.


(Left to Right) Slides to be scanned for the archive; Digital scan of 'Across From Kyloe',1980;

Daisy Kidd and Dave Abson at Kyloe, one of Richard's favorite Northumbrian climbing spots, October 2023.


During our time in Newcastle, we received invaluable advice and support with essential experience and expertise in managing artists' estates, archiving, and legacy planning Some of these people also knew Richard well and were able to share insightful stories about his time as a student, teacher, and artist; we were especially touched by the pieces of writing gifted to us remembering Richard as a student, a contemporary and a tutor at Newcastle University. Some of the other individuals we met didn’t know Richard but have been active in shaping the wider art and cultural legacy in Newcastle and the North East. All perspectives helped give us some clarity as to where this archive and Richard’s legacy fits (and where it might fit) within the larger context.


One unexpected highlight of our stay was seeing the Matt Rugg exhibition at the Hatton Gallery. Not only were we both truly inspired by the art of Matt Rugg - by his open-ended movement between painting, drawing, sculpture, and teaching - but also by his attitude to art-making, which was more out of pure necessity and joy, rather than any apparent motive for fame and fortune. This retrospective was a loving and attentive curation of his artworks alongside other parts of the archive that surrounded his life and his connection to the Fine Art Department at Newcastle University (back when it was part of Durham University as the King’s College) during the 1950s/60s. It was fascinating to see the various threads running through the School, linking together a series of tutors and students, ideas and aesthetics, which continue to run to this day. It was also heartwarming to learn more of this history within the department, partly because our dad was also very much a part of this lineage and sphere of influence.


Rachael and Daisy Kidd, Rachael Clewlow, and Nick Kennedy

in front of one of Richard's paintings in Newcastle, October 2023.

Photo credit: Arthur Thomas Clewlow Kennedy, 5 years old.


There was no part of our time in Newcastle that didn’t feel meaningful in some way. We got a heck of a lot done and, of course, we still have lots to do. However, some nice little lines can be drawn under certain parts of the archive now, and some exciting conversations have been started about the next steps. We are now certain that the North East is where a retrospective exhibition of Richard’s work needs to be. Now on our way back to our real jobs in Berlin and Sheffield, we will be doing our best to keep the momentum going.


Thank you to everyone who has been so generous, inspiring, and encouraging.


Rachael and Daisy



How you can get involved

We are so grateful for all of the offers we receive from people who want to help with the project. Every bit of archive material we get sent, and every new connection encourages us to keep going. Here are some of the ways that you can help if you have time:

  • Help us spread the word: our main goal with this project is to continue Richard's legacy as an artist and to encourage other artists' estates in the same position as us. There are many ways that people can discover his work - via the Instagram account, the website, or by coming to see our collection in person. If you know anyone you think might enjoy Richards's work or the archive project please consider sharing this website with them.

  • Contribute to the archive: If you have memories, photographs, videos, anecdotes, letters, drawings, or paintings - anything that can help us to build a better understanding of Richard as an artist - then we would be very grateful if you were prepared to share it with us. The email address is at the bottom of this newsletter.


Sign up to receive future newsletters by email here.


Follow the @Richardkidd_artist Instagram account here for weekly updates (if you don't have Instagram, you can still have a look by clicking the link).

Get in touch by emailing richardkiddestate@protonmail.com


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