Mike dressed in his mother’s knitting, Elizabeth Kitching, otherwise known as Betty.
"She was very good at this' (at knitting), I remember the little wooden horse I'm holding"
Mike arrived in Australia in 1952, he was 12 years old. Mike recalls "What I remember most from then is the dockyard where the ships pulled in. That wasn’t unfamiliar to me because where I was born as a place called Hull, which is a harbour about the same size as Sydney, with a very similar layout. Hull has a big bay at one end and a bay at the other end. When you leave England you have to dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s so you are there on the dockside for about a week – then someone says ‘the boat’s on its way, you can cross the Channel now’…. ‘mad dogs and slow boats, that’s what it reminds me of’."
The eldest son, to James Digby Percival and Elizabeth Kitching. "We lived in Cheshire as most of Hull was bombed during the war until it disintegrated. Our own home was blown up six times." - Mike Kitching,Pittwater Online News. Mike continues, "My father had secured a job to build an oil refinery prior to us leaving England. This was to be built in Kurnell, in Botany Bay. He had experience in this during WWII."
On July 1st 1940 there was a raid at Hull. Mike recall"Although we didn't lose our oil refinery, it was just damaged. This happened to be the day my father got called up (to serve) – they’d sent him a document in the post and he had to tick it and appear at such and such a place at this time etc. I remember it said something about ‘don’t worry about bringing socks because we’ll provide socks’ which I thought was hilarious."
Mike continues, "There was a blank spot at the bottom of this document, ‘Civilian Occupation’ – he put down ‘Builder’ as that had been the family occupation – half of them are farmers and the few that weren’t were Builders and had been for a long time, generations, since 1722 in fact. I thought I too would eventually inherit this occupation but this didn’t happen." Read the full article here>>
A fascinating journey through Australian sculpture over the past several decades through the words of many of its key figures.
"As part of the larger archive at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Balnaves Foundation Australian Sculpture Archive Project focuses on significant Australian sculptors and sculptural practice. Initiated and led by Deborah Edwards, then the Gallery’s senior curator of Australian art, the project was developed with a grant from the Balnaves Foundation in 2010, which supported the recording and transcription of interviews with artists and other figures in Australian art." - Art Gallery Of NSW.
Interview with Mike Kitching - Download PDF"Although he won the 1964 Blake Prize for a painting, Mike Kitching (born 1940) is best known for his sculptures in stainless steel, aluminium and plexiglass, which often incorporate light. A self-trained artist, he has also taught for many years, including at the City Art Institute in Sydney.
Interview date 11 September and 23 October 2014." - Interviewer Deborah Edwards, senior curator of Australian art, Art Gallery of NSW
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