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Summer Exhibition: Feeling Bright Blue

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.


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