With love to our friend, Jessica Kemp

Date published: 1 Apr 2021

Posted by: Alison Denholm

Jess Kemp carrying a stag lantern

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We are beyond sad to mark the passing of Jess, our friend, colleague and creative collaborator. We send our love and deepest sympathy to her family.

Jess was an artist who put people at the heart of her work, and created opportunities for joy and celebration in everything she made.

Jess Kemp in a flamingo costume

She wanted to make the world a more beautiful place, and achieved this in all the things she created. She was a hugely generous artist, and worked with thousands of people over the years to share her skills and open up their creative journey. She worked with partners and organisations across the region, and they too will have their highlights, and feel her loss.

While she could turn her hand to so many art forms and techniques, her pride and joy was the carnival, puppetry and parade work she dedicated so much of her life to. Over the last 15 years, she worked extensively at City Arts, leading and collaborating on the creation of puppets, costumes and lanterns. Carnivals in the summer, lantern parades in the winter, and anything in-between.

Jess Kemp making a puppet at City Arts
Jess Kemp in her workshop space

Jess was so important to all our carnival, outdoor and festival work. Her support, dedication and creativity was a huge part of its success. She was always excited for a new creative adventure, and worked so hard to make sure everything and everyone achieved their potential.

She was a huge part of the City Arts family. We will miss her deeply.

The City Arts Team