Kitty’s Launderette: A Work of Art

As you may well have gathered by now I think Kitty’s Launderette is currently one of the best new ideas in a city that’s getting increasingly good at new ideas.

Myriam Lahnite’s collage.

Coming from the streets and communities of Liverpool itself, for the most part, we’re shaping up much of our future from our own ideas and energies. Which is as it should be. We are the people of Liverpool, in all of our joyously argumentative difference, and if we aren’t our own place’s future then who is?

Atilla Olah

Anyway, off the soap-box and back to Kitty’s. Watching and supporting the Community Launderette’s development and the running of its Kickstarter appeal these last few weeks, I’ve been struck by how beautifully it’s all being done and how many people are saying so. From the thoroughness of the idea’s gestation and the gathering of its community in its place, through to everything about how it’s being presented and even the rewards that are part of its Kickstarter, Kitty’s Launderette is a work of art.

Laura Spark

Which is what I want to celebrate here, as the Kickstarter enters its final days, creeping up to its stretch target of £20,000 as supported by over 300 of our pledges and so much good quality media coverage. In all of this some people might have escaped your notice.

So step metaphorically forward the artists of Kitty’s Launderette:

  • Ria Fell, illustrator and accessories designer. Ria is an illustrator and accessories designer from Liverpool. With a strong interest in texture and pattern, she enjoys working with different materials to explore varieties of shape and colour. Inspired by the patterns found in the photograph of Kitty Wilkinson, and the shape of water in the act of washing, Ria has created a limited edition Giclee print and tote bag design for the Kickstarter campaign
  • Louis Tuckman, graphic and branding designer. Louis is a young designer living in Liverpool. He works with businesses and organisations to help them visually communicate what they offer society. He has been leading on the visual identity of Kitty’s Launderette over the last year and has designed the shopfront, fliers and the history zine. He has also made designs for Alder Hey Hospital, Food For Real Film Festival, Wordscapes as well as our lovely Anfield neighbours at Homebaked. Louis will be continuing his work with us as Kitty’s gets ready to open.

    Ria Fell
  • Attila Olah, ceramiscist and ice sculptor. Attila’s creative practice encompasses private and public art and design projects. Fulfilling commissions as well as delivering pottery workshops from his newly established studio, Altar Pottery based in John Archer Hall, Toxteth. He has designed and hand made the porcelain tiles for the Kickstarter and the launderette itself.
  • Scent Trail ethical skin care have made the soaps for the Kickstarter, incorporating Louis Tuckman’s design. They are an independent skincare company based in the northwest of England who make palm free soap, candles and skincare from carefully selected ingredients including in-house blends of essential oils. Everything is made with skin loving ingredients, in small batches to ensure their quality.
  • Mikey Kenney, fiddle player and balladeer. Contributor of folk wash songs to the Kickstarter and also performing with his musician friends during filming and interviews. He is well known as a constant traveller and collaborator; at present a member of the Robert Burns’ celebration ‘The Band of Burns’, fiddler in the Liverpool Céilí Band and working with Italian legend Vinicio Capossela. He also directs the cross-sea Irish traditional music collective, Hop the Sea.
Myriam Lahnite
  • Laura Spark, animator and film maker. Laura’s done the animations for the Kickstarter film and made the other animations used on so many social media posts these past few weeks. Having originally graduated with a degree in Drama at Liverpool’s John Moore’s University, Laura has recently completed a Masters in Animation at the Royal College of Art. Laura’s films have been shown in festivals and exhibitions internationally, including Stoptrik 2017, Slovenia; Hole in the Head Film Festival 2017, San Francisco; and Final Girls Festival 2018, Berlin. She’s made music videos for Emily Portman and Laura Cannell amongst others; and has created visual work for live musical performance and theatre internationally.
  • Allan Melia, film maker.  Allan’s filmed and edited the Kickstarter film. He is a freelance filmmaker specialising in brand films, promos and events. He recently shot his first feature-length documentary ‘Nature of the Beast’ about Dennis Skinner, which gained a cinema release last year and is gearing up to shoot another this summer.

  • Ehsan Vaziri, designer, fabricator and craftsman. Ehsan’s hand made the scarf and tie hangar for the Kickstarter. He enjoys working on diverse projects and in collaboration with others. Living and working in Liverpool for 6 years now, having moved to the UK from Iran. He runs his own enterprise ERAM (named after a famous garden in his city of Shiraz) and is leading on the design and building of our new laundry space.
  • Myriam Lahnite, illustrator and architecture student. Myriam made the collage of the launderette as it could be for the Kickstarter. And will be continuing to work with our architect as we develop the building.
  • Simon Job, painter. Simon did the two Risograph paintings which were late additions to the Kickstarter, and soon claimed.

These are the artists then. You can see their works over at the Kickstarter and, of course, even claim some of their pieces as rewards for your pledges up to 7:00 pm on Monday 25th June when the campaign closes.

Mikey Kenney, centre, with Damon Kilcawley & Bernadette Nic Gabhann

Not forgetting, while I’m handing out credits, all the other members, cheerleaders and supporters of the Kitty’s team. Particularly mentioning the front-of house duo for these hectic ‘check the Kickstarter and who’s interviewing us in the morning?’ weeks, Grace Harrison and Rachael O’Byrne. Well done and well spoken up you two.

Nearly done then, and yet this is only the start. Next it’s architects and planning and clearing out and building and many another to-do list before the doors open for the first wash to be loaded as the summer ends.

Ehsan Vazri

But for now let’s pause a moment and reflect that this was well done and beautifully done by one and all. A collective work of art, in fact.

Oh and let’s get that final £1,000 or so pledged to reach the target? Not a penny wasted and the sooner its got the sooner Kitty’s gets opened. So one last push?

Help Kickstart Kitty’s Launderette. Kitty’s Kickstarter open for pledges here until Monday 7pm, 25th June.

Still rewards to be claimed. Ria Fell’s tote bags for Kitty’s here.

Help Kickstart Kitty’s Launderette. Kitty’s Kickstarter open for pledges here until Monday 7pm, 25th June.

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