Home Live Art’s Knotty Festival of Performance for the adventurous kicks off this Thursday, 6th June at venues and locations across Hastings.

Knotty, 6-9 and 14-16 June 2024

Now in its fourth year, Knotty is produced by Home Live Art, a creative arts organisation based in Hastings. Knotty is a celebration of some of the most exciting and daring performance art happening in the UK today, and showcases the work of both local and international artists.

This year’s festival features work from 20 artists in seven events across Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, White Rock Theatre, and Stables Theatre, plus outdoor locations in Hastings Town Centre. Most of the programme is free or offers a sliding scale according to what ticket buyers can afford.

Kicking off proceedings at the White Rock Theatre on Thursday 6 June is Knotty’s renowned queer performance party, Salty, providing a joyous start to 2024’s festival. Salty provides an inclusive space for LGBTQ+ folk and their allies to come together, dance and enjoy unforgettable, radical cabaret performances, courtesy of Thick and Tight featuring Harry Alexander who will embody Warhol and Twiggy, with Thick and Tight, Mr IPM, aka Azara Meghie, winner of the Man Up competition, plus local drag artist Paris Grande.

Ray Young’s OUT, Stables Theatre, 7 June

Knotty includes a programme of four performances co-curated with Claudine Eccleston, founder of Playing the Race Card, a local arts and social justice organisation focusing on celebrating Black excellence and supporting relevant art and artists. Accompanying the current Black Joy! Up Close and Personal exhibition at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, the collaboration includes the temporary installation of an interactive public sculpture from Sonia Hughes, a call-and-response exploration of museum objects led by Harold Offeh, Ray Young’s award-winning interdisciplinary work OUT.

Claudine Eccleston said: ‘I am really excited to have teamed up with Home Live Art to bring these incredibly talented artists to Hastings, injecting a fresh perspective into our town’s cultural offerings. It aligns perfectly with the energy of our exhibition encouraging dialogue around Black Joy.’

Image: Climate Nan

Thick and Tight Harry Alexander
Tink Flaherty
Mr IPT , drag king and winner of Man Up 2023
drag artist paris grande in leather boots sitting on a wall
Local drag icon Paris Grande
Birmingham’s legendary Yshee Black
Sonia Hughes’ I am from Reykjavik

On Friday June 7, taking the festival outdoors, performance artist Tink Flaherty brings their bench to the streets of Hastings, inviting visitors, audiences and curious locals to sit down and chat about how we connect with each other in advance of Tink’s performance Benched, at Trans Pride Hastings this July. Also on June 7, the Stables Theatre plays host to Ray Young’s celebrated piece OUT, which defiantly challenges homophobia and transphobia in a bold reclamation of dancehall culture.

Locally-based artists, activists and provocateurs Beccy McCray and Becca Warn will be parking Climate Nan’s Caravan in Hastings Town Centre on Saturday 8 June, encouraging visitors to swing by and chat about climate solutions, hope, and fears. “Imagine a world where talking about climate change is like a nice natter with your nan…”. Climate Nan Caravan makes this a reality.

The same day, families of all shapes and sizes are invited to Sweet, a drag and cabaret show for anyone aged five and over, brimming with dance, drag, music and fun, hosted at the Mini Playhouse.

Renowned Artist Harold Offeh will be delving into memories, stories and histories of the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery collection in Bring and Brag on Sunday 9 June, alongside members of the local Black community. This lively event promises an unprecedented opportunity to reshape museum narratives by delving into fascinating local stories behind everyday objects in relation to the Black Joy! Up Close and Personal exhibition.

Over the final weekend of the festival, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery will be home to a brand new artist commission and highly anticipated premiere for Knotty 2024. The Hero’s Journey on Friday 14, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June brings together community performers and local artists in a performance adventure celebrating the diversity, beauty and spirit of Hastings. Led by artist Anna Maria Nabirye and choreographer Darragh O’Leary, produced by St Leonards creative hub Afri-Co-Lab. Details of the show are closely under wraps, but expect an immersive and heroic experience.

A Hero’s Journey. Image by Caitlin Lock

Meanwhile, artist Sonia Hughes presents I Am From Reykjavik on Saturday 15 June, with all she needs to build herself a shelter, which she will she create and later demolish as a temporary sculpture in the town centre. Knotty audiences and visitors can witness how Sonia and Hastings get along.

For full performance details and credits, ticket links and access information, please visit www.homeIiveart.com

For press enquiries, please contact Anna Goodman at Abstrakt on
abstrakt@abstraktpublicity.co.uk

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About Home Live Art

Home Live Art is an artist-led, queer-led creative organisation based in Hastings. It is dedicated to developing new sites and audiences for culture by supporting artists to develop their work and building strong local communities through creativity. Home Live Art’s mission is to electrify and diversify the cultural ecology in the towns of South East England through bold programming and innovative community-led work.  www.homeliveart.com

About Playing the Race Card

Through a range of thought-provoking exhibitions, workshops, talks, and performances, Playing the Race Card creates a town-wide conversation on race, identity and social justice. It was started in 2020 by local Hastings resident Claudine Eccleston in response to her own experiences of this diminishing term and is led by a Working Group of community members, with support from Home Live Art. www.playingtheracecard.co.uk

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  • Beth King

    Designer, content creator and co–founder of Larking, a design and digital marketing agency based in Hastings.

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