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Tribute to Claire Knights

It is with deepest sadness and disbelief that our dear friend Claire Knights has been found dead near Minnis Bay in Birchington.

Claire held an exhibition at The Margate School before joining as a student as one of the first cohort of those studying for the European Fine Art Masters in 2019. Deferring her second year and graduating with distinction in 2022. She was an outstanding and exceptional artist, whose work reflected her complex, loving nature. Her sculptural work had elements of humour and wit alongside the determination. Her initial contact via email in May 2019, in true manner of what she called “my flipping sense of humour”, began with “I am an un-google-able phenomenon of international acclaim”.

The exhibition poster for the resulting exhibition ‘A Pick ‘n’ Mix of Sculpture’ carried the sub-heading ‘At Woolworths Where else?’ and used a section of her New Amibitions prize-winning “Electric Blanket”, a patchwork of LED pieces. Alongside this she showed five additional large artworks, including a repurposed rowing boat. The show attracted attention and curiosity and was a perfect reflection of the spirit of the School. Her subsequent work, shown during the graduation exhibition was overpowering and resulted in exhibitions in other venues.

Uwe Derksen, director of TMS, has this memory - “Claire participated in events and workshops outside of her MA studies and was often a key contributor in thought and action. I recall that she created artwork of the local coastline to Make the Wave action at the School, part of a national creative coastal campaign to highlight rising seas ahead of the G7 summit in 2017, the artwork took the form of large banners that were displayed on the outside of the building.”

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Claire’s family. Her presence will be sorely missed, she was a frequent visitor to exhibitions and events at TMS with her partner, and she formed strong bonds with her fellow students and friends at the School. Memories of her and with her, including the trip to Normandy before lockdown, will be held fondly.



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