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Past Exhibitions
terra / firma

3rd - 29th November 2022


Knot Works presents terra/firma an exhibition of works in clay by Jean Crosbie and Holly Jean Crosbie. Although working in isolation to one another, both artists are engaged in an exploration of landscape, topology and mark making. The works they each produce remain wholly unique, with both artists creating their own visual language through their personal experimentations working in clay. terra/firma offers viewers the chance to explore their individual approaches to shared themes such as nature, geology and the formation and decay of naturally occurring structures.


The exhibition is the first time that the works by the artists, who are mother and daughter, have been exhibited together.


Jean Crosbie (b.1954) is an artist who has been making works in clay for 25 years. She draws inspiration from the formation of clay and its relationship to the earth. Her works are both from the earth and reflect the colours, feel and sensations of nature and of the natural world. The artists’ experimentations using oxides allow for further explorations in expressing her response to the natural world and the earth we exist upon.


Holly Jean Crosbie (b.1989) is an architect and artist. Working across architecture, ceramics and textiles her works draw on multiple artistic languages. Architectural in scope, her works in clay often reflect the ways in which structures, both natural and humanmade come into existence. Working exclusively in porcelain her singular works appear otherworldly, celestial as if grown or discovered, their existence automatous from the earth.

“Clay has always been a fundamental part of human life. We live in buildings made from clay, and use objects made from clay in our every day lives. The work of Jean Crosbie and Holly Jean Crosbie challenges viewers to reconsider their relationship with clay, to consider again the structures and forms we live around and interact with. Through their unique world building their work pushes the boundaries and ambitions of working in clay.”

Edward Liddle, Curator for Knot Works

Feeling Bright Blue by Kate Sims

12th August - 9th September 2022


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 the artist 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 featured an evolving display of portraits taken throughout the duration of the exhibition. Visitors were 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. @katethingsdotcom

For more information, and to view the portraits and read the visitor responses, visit the artists website here.

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Knot Works: Presents II

19th March - 29th May 2022

The exhibition featured 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.


Drawing offers a fascinating insight into the creative process. At times, drawing can be necessary and exploratory in nature. At other times, it serves a more radical purpose and enables the producer to create a drastically different output than is usual.


The drawings reflect the breadth of an often overlooked art form and supports one of the aims of Knot Works, to bring attention to the work of contemporary artists and designers. Many of the drawings in the exhibition have never been publicly exhibited.


The exhibition included a new ‘pigment drawing’ created by French artist Élodie Huet, made using tape and pigment, the traces of the tape beautifully picked up by the delicate handling of pigment. Maddy Mathews’ drawing made using dense pencil marks is steeped in the intricacies of internet culture and memes. There are preparatory painted works like those made by Richard Jed Butler and Lucienne O’Mara which offer a glimpse into their creative process. And works by Elizabeth McCarten and Tim Patrick provide a direct link to the great historical masters of drawing. Together, the range of approaches to drawing featured in the exhibition demonstrates the potential, and inherently boundary pushing nature of drawing.

Knot Works Presents II Exhibitors
Knot Works: Presents

October 3rd - 31st 2021

Knot Works Presents I Exhibitors