Ken Knight

Oils on Board
Opening and Meet the artist Saturday July 12 at 2.30pm

A prolific award winning modern impressionist, Ken has been capturing the unique landscape of Australia for over 25 years. This new body of work captured en plein-air from this countries exquisite beaches and waterways to the golden interior and dark moody mountains will provide a stunning display of oils on board in the Octagon ArtSpace.

On the Road with Ken Knight

Spending a life on the road is not about reaching any particular destination – that’s not the object of the exercise – for Ken Knight, it’s the journey taken to get there that counts.

Jack Kerouac went “on the road” to discover himself, defining a new generation of which he became it’s chief incarnation. Ken Knight spends at least four months each year travelling a similar road of self-discovery and his findings radiate as explosions of light and shadow from the surfaces of the stories he tells in his imagery of the landscape.

His inspiration comes from the great outdoor painters, the impressionists from Turner through Van Gogh to Monet, and from Australians like the Arthurs - Streeton and Boyd, and even abstract expressionists like William de Kooning.

For Ken, painting outside is a deeply emotional and necessary experience for capturing the essence and spirit of the scene and it’s inherent scenario. Not unlike a live performer’s love for the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd, Knight finds his kicks in pushing around his oils and his crowd are the natural elements he lives with on the road, and depicts in his plein air masterpieces.

Ironically, in a country desperately short of life’s most precious commodity, there’s plenty of water in his work. From beaches, rivers and harbour-side shores to snow capped mountains and in the starkly beautiful, yet subtle and muted golden hues of hinterlands, plains and tablelands. His images are as Australian as all get-out. And it’s these images of the faces of the dry continent that Ken simplifies by gentle abstraction to produce very modern impressions of the land.

Ken Knight’s artistic treatment of water is spectacular and completely in sympathy with his natural spirit. After all, he’s an Aquarian - but this water bearer doesn’t hold back in off-loading his burden to his imagery.

He paints quickly, not wanting to concentrate on the detail, less it inherit a photographic quality in his eye and hence his brush. Rather, he imbues his elements with passion, emotion and a love for the landscape that has become his raison d’etre and an integral part of himself.

He’ll blur lines, soften edges and abstract elements to leave the work open for an interpretation that the viewer can call his or her own. This is his art.

May this contemporary Knight of the road continue to capture natural history with his authentic slices of the uniquely Australian landscape such as those presented in this exhibition.

Stan d'Argeavel - Exhibition Coordinator

All works oil on board - note variations may occur in some colours due to differing monitor renditions. Click on thumbnail to view a larger image. E & OE.

Friday 30 May 2008