Through his cunningness and evolution, man has risen to become the dominant species amongst all others that walk, swim and fly. We have conquered the far corners of the land, dived deeper than any fish and flown higher than any bird. Regardless of our elevated status, we still share this Earth with all of its creatures, and their beauty and importance hasn’t thus been diminished. Although we’ve made possible for many animals to be preserved and even saved, we’ve let our arrogance prevail in endangering many species. Where the Animalia exhibition focuses on the interaction of animals and mankind through many of life's aspects, Kate Knight is an artist who places a spotlight on the endangered ones, reminds us of These Fragile Things in an exhibition fittingly named as such. Influenced by the prosperity of Baroque, Knight depicts the animals in bright colors in a series that will be displayed at Curious Duke Gallery in London throughout the month of March.
Kate Knight is an artist based in Kent, England, and she received her BA Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2005. In her work, she focuses on figurative and object based imagery, exploring watercolor in addition to her oil painting practice. Displaying visual pleasantries that lie in desire, sex and death in her previous work, the watercolor introduction brought along a new subject with it, one inspired by imagery of the Sacred Heart. Tying the process of death or resurrection to the heart in this series, it rose and evolved into a representation of love expressed through the animal paintings in her work. Regardless of the technique, her colorful pieces are pleasant on the eyes, and reference and avert attention to real world problems. Showcasing her painting of a hangman’s noose titled Illuminated, Kate Knight was selected as the runner up for the Marmite Prize for Painting 2010.
Throwing a spotlight on the endangered species of our planet, Kate Knight portrays animals like the American kestrel, Brown-billed Sicklebill and queen bee in her Baroque-influenced paintings. Much like her colleague Gianluca Pisano, whose exhibition is still on view in London, Knight is moved by the history of the baroque period which can be associated with prosperity, and she uses the red and gold watercolors to symbolize and stir what this part of nature has lost: fertility, energy, life. Turning towards Mother Nature and the effects mankind has had on it, Knight states: “Nature plays a predominant role in this exhibition and I could not turn a blind eye to the climate change we are continuing to experience at such a rapid pace and the consequences.” Not only are the animals beautiful in their own right, the paintings themselves are detailed and colorful, easily making a connection with any viewer.
Evoking parts of this world that we may have pushed aside, Kate Knight uses the new Baroque movement to portray a colorful picture of an otherwise withering reality. Undoubtedly, many of the species were endangered by both direct and indirect actions of modern society, and Knight reminds us of their beauty and why we should raise the level of our awareness. Proudly announcing the solo show of Kate Knight, the Curious Duke Gallery hosts the exhibition titled These Fragile Things within its walls in London, on view from March 3rd to March 26th, 2016.
Featured images: Kate Knight - Bastion of Hope (detail); Kate Knight - Queen (detail). Images courtesy of Curious Duke Gallery.