This week we had the pleasure of kicking back with Juddy Roller studio resident- Kitt Bennett. Kitt has an insane knack for drawing in his playful and figurative style, which often warps time and disfigures his subjects to express a vivid and fluid motion like no other.
Kitt and I sat down over a nice cup of green tea to discuss his beloved plants, kombucha and a then a little bit about his artistic side as well.
JUDDY- Hey Kitt, thanks for having me in your studio. What have you been working on over the last few weeks?
KITT- Oh HAY babe! The last few weeks I’ve been working on a medley of mural and illustration jobs. In my spare time, I’ve been painting a room for an up and coming group show.
JUDDY- Sounds delicious. So, Kitt Bennett? Is this your real name?
KITT- My real name is actually Dirt Bonnett. Mum named me after her favourite Lee Kernaghan song. It’s also my favourite song, I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
JUDDY- What’s your drink of choice?
KITT- Kombucha at the moment. I’m trying to recover my gut microbiota after drinking Yarra water.
JUDDY- Yarra Water was a bad choice. Anyway, are you a night owl or an early bird?
KITT- Usually early morning to midday works for me. After an authentic studio nap night owl works as well.
JUDDY- Painting indoors or outdoors?
KITT- Anything outdoors is better. But the nature of my work includes a lot of indoor drawing.
JUDDY- How long have you been working with Juddy Roller?
KITT- How long’s a piece of string? (twice the length from the centre to one end)
JUDDY- That doesn’t really answer my question, but you’re not wrong.
How do you define yourself? Artist? Street artist? Muralist? Gardener?
KITT- I define myself as an Artist.
JUDDY- Do you have a formal arts education?
KITT- I have a Bachelor of illustration. The best thing about the course was being placed around more creative people and fewer bricklayers, as well as the daily life drawing – highly recommend.
JUDDY- Your work is incredibly complex, but also has a playful simplicity about it, what inspires you do draw like this?
KITT- Complexity in drawing is impressive but good looking simplicity is hard to achieve. I try to find a balance between the two.
JUDDY- This is true. Are there any particular themes or cultures that influence your aesthetic?
KITT- In my Uni days, I was introduced to comics and artists like Jean Giraud. This influenced my style and what I thought was important with my own growth as an artist. I used to just draw gross heads and violent imagery.
JUDDY- You’ve been photographed painting on the toilet, and have also have exhibited work in public toilets, is there a reoccurring theme going on?
KITT- The Toilet show was a series of drawings based on patterns in micro-organisms and germs etc. So I thought a dunny would be a fitting venue.
JUDDY- Tell us more about your artistic process.
KITT- My process starts in a sketchbook. Then I move things outside of the book and onto paper or walls. There’s no specific process I conform to. Every piece or job will have a new process and a different outcome. I learn alot from technical problems that arise when creating work.
JUDDY- We know you’re an avid gardener and plant collector, do you have any other secret hobbies?
KITT- Besides being a full-time nurseryman. My latest hobby is fermenting foods and gut health. And chess.
JUDDY- What are your creative plans for the future?
KITT- I have plans for some more conceptual installations and exhibitions. It’s just a matter of finding time and money to work on larger personal projects.
JUDDY- Final question, what would be your dream project to work on? Be creative!
KITT- A residency on the international space station.
JUDDY- Nice one, aim for the stars my friend.
JUDDY- Thanks for having us Kitt, it has definitely been a fun one!
You can catch Kitt hanging around at the local nursery, public toilet and Juddy Roller.
Or, if you’re not already spending enough hours staring at a screen, check out his website or give him a follow on Instagram.
Thanks to Ed Whitfield and Nicole Reed for the photos!