Meet the Creative: Chloe Knights
Connect + Build + Play
Chloe Knights is a multi-disciplinary artist motivated by a desire to create objects through her personal relationships with materials, and her appetite for learning and knowledge acquisition through experience. The tactile and sensory language that materials offer heavily influences the direction and outcome of her pieces, giving her a direct relationship with all of the materials and objects that she creates, from beginning to end. Chloe will be joining the Float Fam, delivering her ‘Material Girl - Make Some Stuff’ workshop - a family friendly session designed to get you thinking and creating. We caught up with Chloe ahead of Float to find out about her passion for making, what wellness means in relation to her craft, and what she’s been reading to keep her inspired and motivated.
What do you do and what makes it special?
As an artist I create spaces where an engagement with materials and making is encouraged. Using bright colours, everyday materials and found things I invite the audience to spend as much or as little time creating anything they like. I believe that everyone should have the chance to use their hands in the creative process of making.
Making has a massive impact on my own wellbeing, within my personal practice is create objects through repetitive processes and material explorations. These repetitive tasks allow my mind to ‘switch off’ something I find helps a lot with the stresses of everyday life. So, basically I am trying to inspire as many people as possible to get making and have some fun. It doesn’t have to be complicated and take a lot of time and it can, as I have seen bring people together, open conversations and encourage freedom!
What made you be a part of Float?
Anything that encourages creativity and fun has a double thumbs up from me. I haven’t yet been involved with anything like this before and it is something I am really excited about. Float is Manchester’s first wellness festival and I just think its absolutely fabulous that creative people are coming together to help others in an accessible way.
Can you describe yourself in three words?
Pale, Ditsy and Grounded.
Your work is about materials, play, and interaction - where does this passion stem from?
After experiencing a bereavement in 2016, I seemed to be drawn towards knitting. This process of repetitive actions allows my mind to ‘switch off’. As a result, I found myself constantly knitting, using it as an almost ‘coping mechanism’ for what was going on inside my mind at the time. Since then I have gradually been able to understand how this involvement with the hands, materials and the mind has an impact on my mind-set and overall wellbeing. Through personal experience, research and experimentation I have been able to understand how these concepts along with play can enhance creativity. A wide range of material choices and the use of bright colours hopefully invites many different people to engage with the work. I think that everyone should have the chance to experience making, it might not be for everyone but I think you should at least give it a go. You might just surprise yourself.
What are some of your favourite materials to work with?
I enjoy working with literally anything. I have a habit of collecting (some of my friends may call It hoarding…) random objects and materials, I love to work with things that I find or what others may disregard as precious. I have a passion for metal work and I enjoy using steel and welding processes. I have recently started to introduce wood to my practice and this is something I am looking forward to progressing in the future.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired mostly by the people I meet and the people who engage with the work that I present. They allow me to understand the progression of my thinking and my practice. Something which I am very grateful for. Some of my favourite artists include, Judith Scott, David Hockney, Ernesto Neto, Marina Abramović and Magdalena Abakanowicz.
What comes to mind when you hear the word wellness?
When I think of wellness I think about trying to look after myself. It’s not plain sailing all the time, but realising the bad and the good is something that has been beneficial to me. Its very hard to be positive all the time but trying your best to not place negativity onto others helps a lot. I think it is great to have moments of self reflection, it definitely helps me in my overall state of wellness and allows me to progress with the way I deal with things in everyday life.
What is about your work that gives it the feel good factor?
Having fun! We don’t do it enough; you don’t have to spend money or have a lot of time to commit to making. It can be done anywhere and with anyone. The feel good factor for me is seeing people have fun and hearing the conversations that come about within the space and the platform that I present.
How do you use social media to share your work?
I use Instagram as a platform for sharing what I’m up to and what I am making. I tend to use Instagram a lot when I am in the midst of making, but I often do allow myself to take a break from social media. It can sometimes have a negative effect on my mood so I just tend to post whenever I feel like it, which I enjoy much more.
What is happiness to you?
Not getting too worried about things that I can’t control like money or whatever and making sure I keep my connections with friends, family. Sometimes I don’t feel very positive but it’s important to acknowledge that and ride it out. It won’t last forever. This realisation has made me appreciate the ups and downs of life much more.
What is the best part of the creative process?
The best part of the creative process for me is the initial stages of testing. Being able to explore loads of different ideas you might have or quick making tasks.
How do relax and unwind?
I like to relax by having a nice hot bath with candles and singing really loud to the smiths (I’m not really sure how my housemates feel about this…) That’s probably my favourite thing to do to unwind but I do really enjoy walking (my favourite walk is the trail around Malham Cove and Janet’s Foss) and find being around nature also has a massive impact on my wellbeing. I have recently started wild swimming and learning about different species of trees and wildflowers.
What are you reading/listening/watching right now?
I’m not really watching much at the moment; I don’t enjoy watching tv much. Although I did see a good documentary about permaculture and eco villages called – The Bosque Village – Life off the Grid. I am currently reading the Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllenben. I have just finished reading Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana– a book which has been really beneficial to me and I would defiantly recommend this to anyone wanting to learn a bit more about mindfulness and meditation. I am really enjoying listening to Elder Island at the moment along with Julie Byrne and Nulüfer Yanya.
You can grab your tickets for Float Festival here.