Ali Pretty is best known as the founding member and artistic director of the international outdoor arts company – Kinetika, which she founded in 1997 after a long established career in carnival arts and a growing commitment to community engagement work.
Ali has collaborated with, and led teams of artists to deliver large-scale events to diverse audiences all over the world; from WOMAD (1985 – 1991), FIFA World Cup (2009), the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Her artistic direction and textile design is renowned for its quality, both in its individual style as well as its ability to engage and leave lasting legacies in communities and individuals alike.
In recent years Ali has been developing her practice as an artist in her own right. She creates transformational walking arts projects with diverse communities. Through these projects Ali brings people together by walking, talking and making.
Ali’s first major walking-meet-art project and exhibition Walking Wiltshire’s White Horses took place at the Wiltshire Museum in 2013 alongside British digital artist Richard White. The designs made during the project were developed into the White Horses Collection available on CultureLabel. Ali and Richard continue to collaborate on walking projects and formed ‘Now We Are Walking’ – a Facebook based portfolio to represent their collaborative walking projects.Their projects in 2014 have included the Isle of Wight Carnival Trail, part of the Isle Of Wight Walking Festival and ‘Walking With Newton’, retracing Isaac Newton’s famous footsteps around the landscape of Grantham, in Lincolnshire as part of the Gravity Fields Festival.
Over the next few years, Ali is looking to establish a pioneering model that brings together arts and health to create happier communities. Kinetika’s recent move to High House Production Park in Thurrock has led to Ali developing new partnerships that focus on creating projects that will contribute to the regeneration of the borough.
In 2015, she will be working on two major projects in the area that will combine her passion for walking, creativity and community engagement. Ali will be creating the Thurrock World 100 Walking Festival in partnership with Public Health Thurrock collaborating with Dr William Bird from Intelligent Health. Ali will work with Richard White again on the River Crouch Celebrations.
Ali’s own work is influenced by her extensive experiences in India and Trinidad over the last 30 years. She is currently completing her Carnival Archive at the V&A that launches in Spring 2015. She is interested in developing her writing and has recently received a qualification in Creative Writing from University of East Anglia having successfully completed a Memoir Masterclass at the Guardian led by Damian Barr. Ali is developing a new body of work that combines her writing with her skills in design and illustration to tell the story of her creative journey.