Knotty Festival 2020.

Project Description

Lucy McCormick presents Life: LIVE! Live Lounge

Nu-pop sensation Lucy McCormick and her electrotrash Girl Squad were due to present her subversive, immersive, pop concert spectacular Life: LIVE! at the White Rock Theatre with Knotty Festival.

Whilst we can’t bring you this performance in its full glorious extravaganza concert setting, Lucy has created a Life: LIVE! Lounge session direct from her bedroom, singing two acoustic versions of her original songs Coming Back To Me and Are You Well.

Time away from the stage has given Lucy the chance to further experiment with her music, thinking about how she can bring some of her show to you at home. The result are these acoustic songs and her fragment for the Knotty Festival audience’s listening pleasure.

Credits: Created by Lucy McCormick, produced by Philippa Barr, digital production by Daniel Hughes.

Brownton Abbey Performance Party

Brownton Abbey is an Afro-futurist performance party of intersectional identities, where queer, trans and disabled people of colour lead the narrative, born initially from the idea of flipping power structures to create a world in which queer people of colour are at the centre, as opposed to the fringes.

For Knotty 2020 Brownton Abbey was due to bring their transcendental mash-up of performance and party to the Printworks in Hastings. They are now working on a digital version, which Knotty will co-present online later in the year.

Rhiannon Armstrong: How we might have met (and might still yet)

For the Knotty Festival I was due to bring a team of artists together to develop and then perform a new version of my interactive work ‘Can I Help You?’ outside the Debenhams in Hastings town centre.

Can I Help You? offers free help to passers-by and the general public. There are no plans and no boundaries: anything goes, the only requirement is that we figure it out together.

Meeting strangers is a big part of what drives this work. I’ve been remembering the people I have met in the past doing ‘Can I Help You?’, and thinking about those I won’t meet on the streets of Hastings this year.

My fragment is an interactive space exploring how we might have met, in the hope that we might still yet.

The work is here:

Tink Flaherty: Empty Benches

During Knotty 2020 I would have performed ‘Sit With Me’, a participatory performance happening over two days across Hastings and St Leonards.

‘Sit With Me’ invites members of the public to sit with me on my bench for as little or as long as they want. Sitting side by side with another person is the foundation of this work, which is driven by the artist’s experience as a neuro-divergent person and the challenges they face connecting ‘appropriately’ in a predominantly neuro-typical world.

My fragment created for Knotty 2020, is a new online work entitled Empty Benches which re-imagines and re-contextualises ‘Sit with Me’ in response to the COVID lockdown.

I live in the Golden Lane Estate within the City of London and as we were only permitted to exercise once a day, for a maximum of one hour I stayed within this boundary for most of the lockdown – exploring the interior and the periphery of my surroundings.

‘Empty Benches’ is an interactive snapshot of my experience and of the city during this time. Using image, film and sound I seek to in some way document the changes I feel and the surreal absence of people who would now no longer be able to Sit with Me.

View Empty Benches Here (link)


Samuel Lyon Spice: Bless Your Cotton Socks


For Knotty 2020 I had been working with socks as a material, the work delved into ideas related to socks within the gay fetish community, examining the way these socks can take in new meaning that supersedes their everyday status.

The original artwork intended for presentation consisted of an immersive installation, created form socks collected through engagement with these communities as part of the research undertaken to produce the work itself.

My fragment for Knotty is a digital zine, put together to explore the themes, which have been unearthed in the making of this new work, ideas of ritual, appropriation and the fetishization of these objects.

Examining the overarching question, what do these socks mean?


Francesca Baglione / Miss High Leg Kick: Bird Rave


Miss High Leg Kick’s Bird Rave for Knotty 2020 was due to be presented as a work-in-progress show around bird watching and raving…bringing together a diverse group of artists for an interactive “dancefloor ornithology” performance. From a special hide the ‘bird-watcher’ audience member would watch for rare ‘birds’ (artists in extraordinary costumes) and as a finale, be encouraged to join their dance. A highly visual reflection of the “dance” of nature (bird flocks; mating dances; nesting rituals), Bird Rave is also a celebration of classic rave music and the group rituals of the days of early rave. Bird Rave explores themes of rituals, environmental issues, the protection of nature, the freedom to move and migration.

I have created a Bird Rave Log Book as a behind-the-scenes glimpse into my research and development process. This is a record of the birds to look out for in the show with notes on each species’ behavior and gives a sense of the visual style and feel of the show. The birds have been chosen for their (sometimes abstract) connections to rave culture. The sightings include illustrations of the plumages created by wig artist Darren Evans, notes on costumes and accompanying rave tracks.

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