Experiences and emotions bind us to a landscape. Everyone’s ‘significant places’ are different but Knight’s loosely-wrought observations connect a broad community of West Australians who love how and where we live.
Personal Landmarks stems from the premise that people see and remember things differently. Colours, smells, shapes, memories… all spark individual responses. Knight thought it would be a useful experiment to paint his own observations and see how others respond to them.
“Roofs, chimneys, sea containers, lighthouses, tugs guiding a ship, the spikes on a grass tree are some of my personal landmarks, but they may be shared by others. There is a visual language we all read and familiar places and objects bring comfort. To document local landscapes is to affirm where we live. I paint scenes that mean something to me but also hope to share the significance that landscape has for all of us.
When selecting subjects for this exhibition I searched for places that had an immediate visceral appeal. The Four Chimneys, for example, is a landscape that sums up what I like about Fremantle as a place. The shapes and the patinas of the chimneys struck me as beautiful but when you look beyond these you see fragments of buildings that remind you of experiences. For example in this painting you see the tower of the town hall, the Esplanade Hotel, a glimpse of The Roundhouse and the alluring Indian Ocean. These places are represented by a shape or a splash of colour, but seen in the context of the whole image accumulate to spark a feeling, nostalgia perhaps, or deeper than that, a sense of belonging. For me painting landscapes of where you live is an important contribution for an artist – taking the time to reinforce the beauty of our country for the people who live here. Our shared history formed this landscape, both good and bad, and our contributions will shape its future.”
Personal Landmarks is Knight’s 12th solo exhibition.
He works from his Fremantle home studio which is open to the public for Artwalk Freo.