Art flies the flag for Kingston in German twin town

Works by a group of Kingston artists have gone on show overseas in a cultural exchange with the borough’s German twin town.

Members of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios (KAOS) are exhibiting in a gallery in Oldenburg as part of a collaboration with German artists.

Kingston has been twinned with Oldenburg, a university town in Lower Saxony, northern Germany, since 2010.

The Art in Transit exhibition is the result of a meeting between artists Hanna ten Doornkaat from KAOS and Martina van de Gey from Oldenburg two years ago. They hatched plans to stage art shows in each other’s home towns, but the biggest problem was the expense and logistics of transporting works abroad.

KAOS came up with the idea of displaying works small enough to fit in hand luggage on the flight to Germany.

A delegation from Kingston led by council leader Councillor Kevin Davis joined artists and the Mayor of Oldenburg at an event to open the exhibition.

The group from Kingston also made fact-finding visits to business and housing schemes and an IT project designed to help care for older people living at home. 

Councillor Kevin Davis said:

“As we face the future of a growing town and the need for inward investment what we learn about the way others run their towns and create economic development is important for Kingston. Culture and the arts are an enormous driver for that economic development and one we will seek to wield more frequently in the coming years.

“I was incredibly proud to be associated with the artists of KAOS and as art brought Kingston to Oldenburg so art will bring Oldenburg to Kingston when German artists come to Kingston with their exhibition in December.”

Artists from Germany will be hosted by Kingston in December when their ‘Northern Attitudes’ exhibition opens at Kingston Museum.

For more information about Kingston’s partnership with Oldenburg go see international partnerships.

For more about KAOS go to