Ken Knight (b.1956)
GUMS ON DAM EMBANKMENT, WESTERN DISTRICT
Oil on board
Gift of the artist
20 March – 5 May 2013
Ken Knight was born in Sydney in 1956. As a contemporary landscapist his paintings have won him international acclaim and success in Britain, Europe and the United States and have earned him the role as one of Australia’s important landscape artists. Ken first travelled through the Western District in 1977 early in his painting career. Inspired with the impressive and expansive landscape of the Grampians and it’s surrounds he has returned to the area many times capturing its unique beauty in his distinct modern impressionist style. During Ken’s most recent trip in January 2013, he spent two weeks completing the final preparation for this exhibition and described the land as majestic, proud and beautiful in all her moods.
Always making sure to vary the time of year he visits, Ken makes good use of the full gamut of colour that is available to him through the seasons. Ken finds beauty in red gums, waterholes, homesteads, sheep and cattle which he views as iconic components in shaping his view of this unique pastoral landscape.
His brushwork is bold and energetic, yet he captures the mood of the scene with its colour and detail, presenting images truly distinctive to the Australian landscape. Using brushes, palette knives and vigorous strokes to create his works, Ken aims to convey the landscape’s elements and paint it so as to allow the viewer their own interpretation. He explains, “It is sort of like a visual poem, carrying suggestions rather than definitive things”.
When viewed up close the paintings are brilliantly constructed, made up of a myriad of converging brushstrokes and swirls of thick paint. Stand back a few paces, and the mass of brushstrokes resolve into a landscape full of texture, mood, time and place.