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Feeling Bright Blue

Kate Sims

12th August - 9th September 2022

Opening Event: 12th August 4pm - 8pm

Knot Works presents Feeling Bright Blue, a solo exhibition of new works by Kate Sims.

Sims (b.1987 USA) is a multidisciplinary artist working across a variety of media. For her first solo presentation at Knot Works, the artist has created a new series of photographs exploring her relationship to the colour blue. The works in Feeling Bright Blue continue the artists’ exploration of beauty and joy in response to growing international environmental crises.

Alongside new photographs, the exhibition will feature an evolving display of portraits which will be taken throughout the duration of the exhibition. Visitors will be invited to sit for a portrait and to share their thoughts on living in contemporary society where impermanence, change and global crises are becoming the norm.

Feeling Bright Blue continues the artists desire to connect with others in an attempt to share knowledge, experience and emotions. The exhibition is a call for collectivism, an invitation to be vulnerable and reflect together to find solutions to what can seem insurmountable challenges when faced alone.

The photographs in Feeling Bright Blue, together with the artists evolving collection of visitor portraits and responses form an ongoing conversation between the artist and her community both locally and globally.

Ahead of the exhibition opening, Kate Sims responded to a series of questions by Ed Liddle (Knot Works):

Are you happy?

I’m a very optimistic depressed person. If I let myself get swallowed up by the sadness in the world - things like climate change, systemic inequality, public health failures, etc - I can very easily become very anxious and unhappy, but I work really hard to find and focus on the beauty and joy and humour in life, and if I manage to do that I’m quite happy!

Why blue?

I really love blue, especially an ultramarine or Yves Klein blue. Bright blues have a lot of depth and energy, but like having the blues emotionally, blue can be quite overpowering. So I wanted to play with that in these images. When I normally photograph flowers, I use a white or very dark background so the colours pop, but in this series, the vibrance of the flowers are overshadowed by the intense blue background and I thought that was interesting.

Artists have always been interested in colour. Could this be the start to a series of works that explore different colours?

I was just thinking about this the other day! Yes, very interested in playing around with the idea of emotion and colour and seeing what comes of exploring different colours! As a graphic designer, colour is so important to me and I kind of love the idea of moving through different colour eras the way a pop star has different aesthetic eras. Stay tuned!

You’ve photographed flowers before, what is it that attracts you to them?

Some people have emotional support animals and I have emotional support plants. Spending time with plants makes me feel grounded and calm, and helps me to remember that even though we’re in the middle of a climate crisis, there is still beauty in the world. You know in the film Wall-E how he carries a little seedling in his incubator and it represents hope? My flower photographs are, for me, little seedlings of hope that I can carry with me.

Your photographs always have an element of drama of power and of presence to them, can you talk about that a bit?

That is so kind of you to say! I guess I’m just a kind of dramatic person!

Is the exhibition a call to action?

In a sense, yes. This exhibition explores some of my feelings about climate change, and how I’m choosing to have hope. And this is where the portraits studies come in. If we don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable and share our fears and anxieties, we won’t be able to come together to make meaningful change in our communities. I wanted to ask visitors who choose to sit for the portraits questions about feeling blue and having hope because I genuinely think that together, we can solve big problems, but we need to be able to express our feelings about those problems before we can start doing meaningful work at a grassroots level to help solve them.

How do you see the project/artworks evolving? Are you done now?

I think I’ll probably be in my blue era for a while. It’s comfortable here and I’m excited to see where it takes me next!

How has working in KW been? Has it changed anything in your work?

It’s so nice to finally have a studio space to work in, and really exciting to be able to open the door and invite people in. I’ve dreamed of doing something like this for many years and it’s great to now have the space and start experimenting with how we can use it creatively and as a force for good in the community.

Hello Friends of Knot Works,

We would like to start this newsletter by saying thank you! We have made big steps to grow our organisation over the last few months and it would not have been possible without your support. Every workshop, exhibition, event attended, every supportive comment on social media, is welcomed and appreciated.

We have just celebrated our 1st birthday and couldn’t be happier with how far we have come. Keep an eye out for an exclusive invitation to our birthday tea party to say thank you for your support!

We feel like we have made some good friends already and we are only just at the beginning.

Knot Works Presents II

From March, we hosted our second exhibition. Featuring over thirty drawings created by artists and designers living in the UK and internationally, the exhibition showcased a range of approaches to drawing, including note making, sketches, preparatory drawings and experimental works.

Full details and photographs of the works can be found on our website here.

Pottery Workshop: Mug Making Our spring pottery masterclass, taught by Jean Crosbie, focused on hand building mugs using the slab technique. Slabs of clay are rolled to an even thickness and then formed around a cylindrical mould. A base piece and handle are then added. The process of using a mould provides a base for either a simple, precise, form, or a starting point for something odd and unusual. Every time we host a class we are overjoyed by the creativity and variation of all the pieces made. Mugs are staples in our kitchens and making one the perfect size and shape for your own hands, and for your chosen beverage, is blissful. To book your place on our next pottery masterclass here.

64 London Road

We have talked for many years about having a dedicated space for workshops, exhibitions and studios. Working from Ed’s studio the last year has been wonderful for many reasons; being amongst his works in progress, the smell of oil paint, the quadruple aspect windows. However, his paintings are getting infinitely bigger, and we have longed for somewhere with more space.

Our long-term plan for KW is to host workshops and exhibitions within a larger premises that also provides studio spaces for artists. While this may be a long-term plan, when the opportunity to lease an empty shop on Southborough high street arose, we felt it was a great opportunity to take a step closer to our goal.

64 London Road is now our home and will host a programme of events throughout the year including pottery classes and studio sessions, life drawing, print making, sewing, photography and exhibitions.

The space has been a betting shop and more recently a barber shop. From the moment we got the keys we spent eight weeks stripping tiles, removing stud walls, plastering and painting many coats of white paint. We had help from some wonderful trades people and have recycled many of the materials we removed. The decorative pallet timber wall cladding is now a raised bed at the allotment!

We have felt a real connection to the community since having a ‘shop front’. Conversations with passers-by, a window we can display workshop makes and works in progress. We are not a ‘shop’, but with so many high street shops sitting empty, maybe a community focused offering is an option for these spaces. People do not come to buy things, but instead to learn, meet people and have a shared experience.

We are so excited for all the plans we have over the next few months, and we welcome you with open arms.

See our upcoming events here. And see below for a sneak peek of the full programme that will be released in the coming months.

Thank you again, and we look forward seeing you soon

Holly, Ed & Sam

This newsletter was sent to our subscribers, to receive future newsletters and event information, sign up below. We will never share your details.

Welcome to our first quarterly Knot Works update!

In our quarterly updates we’ll be letting you know all the news from the Knot Works team as well as what to look forward to in the next few months ahead.


In October, we hosted our first series of workshops. It was great to welcome people to the studio where they learnt how to make waistcoats, pottery, printmaking and drawing. We also staged our first exhibition Knot Works: Presents which featured a range of works from artists, makers and designers. For those who attended and for those who didn’t, views of the exhibition can be seen here and photos and videos of the workshops can be enjoyed here. They document the wonderful time spent together learning new skills and meeting new friends.


In November, the KW team took on an allotment. A short walk from the studio, it is in great need of some tender loving care. And, so begins the slow process of digging, clearing and preparing. We are very much learning as we go but already our weeding and digging has emphasised to us once again the importance of learning through doing, of watching, reflecting and of trying to sensitively respond to what is around us. All principles that led us to creating Knot Works.

Plans for 2022

And so, to the future, as soil is prepared to receive the seeds next year, so too are our preparations underway for an exciting set of events in 2022 at Knot Works.


Our next series of workshops are now live and available to book. The workshops which will take place between March and May, can be found here and booked via our website. A workshop makes a great personal gift, so why not treat yourself too and join the person that you are gifting the workshop to!

Knot Works: Work in Progress

The first of our ‘Work in Progress’ evenings will take place on Wednesday 19th January. Bring along a work in progress to our informal and friendly group crit evening, a work which may benefit from a supportive word, or which may be in need of helpful comment or suggestion in order to get you past that creative block. We are encouraging all disciplines and types of work and the event is free, just sign up here if you’d like to come along.

Knot Works: Presents II

Our next exhibition Knot Works: Presents II will take place from March until May and will feature the drawings of over twenty artists. Save the date, as we will be hosting the exhibition opening event on Saturday 19th March; all welcome to join for the celebrations. Full details here.

Finally, we would like to thank you. Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, for following our posts and liking our stories. Thank you for booking workshops and for attending our events. Thank you for supporting us in our first months and for being part of our growing community. Growing a community is part of why we created Knot Works, so please continue to share the workshops, exhibition and upcoming group crit event with friends and families.

We can’t wait to see you all next year at one of our events or workshops.

Wishing you a restful, fun and creative Christmas and New Year,

Holly, Ed and Sam

This newsletter was sent to our subscribers, to receive future newsletters and event information, sign up below. We will never share your details.

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