Secret worlds pulsing and thriving beyond our awareness.
A sense of magic lurks in the natural world. Secret worlds pulsing and thriving beyond our awareness. Inhabiting a landscape that can push life to or beyond the edge. By combining recognisable objects with the unreal or imagined a harsh and dangerous landscape lurks and reveals a sense of magic in the natural world.
As a child I spent a large amount of time in the bush – often alone – investigating, playing, building, exploring, enjoying. One of my first experiences of this was as a very young child, when my father took us for a walks into the bush. Among the general enjoyment of the experience he showed us how to use stones from the creek to wash our hands – this simple act seemed to me a great and wonderful thing to know, and so began a lifelong love of the bush. I have many fond memories of magical moments absorbed in nature – building pathways through the bushes and creating small cubbies to invite a friend into and perhaps sneak a few puffs on an acquired cigarette. Nature/the landscape seemed a place of mystery and required a certain respect and reverence while also being a joyful bountiful environment to get lost (absorbed) in for hours at a time.
As an adult, many years working in remote indigenous communities in the deserts of WA gave me a glimpse into another kind of relationship with land and the landscape. This relationship seemed closer in some ways to my childhood experiences – more direct than the urban European experience. This reignited my passion for nature and in particular the botanical world. Although at times there is a sense of unknown threat and possible danger when inhabiting the wild botanical world predominantly a feeling of wellbeing and correctness abides.
Lia's artwork draws inspiration from the natural world to explore themes of life, death, sex and magic. Her darkly humorous drawings and sculptures are at once alluring and disarming. They appear like mental maps to a strange and erotic terrain where suppressed desires and fears emerge as eerie dreamscapes. Intrigued by concepts of transformation and the interconnectedness of all things, McKnight's work speculates on the nature of being by referring to the everyday alchemy of growth and decay.