We spoke to the creative and inspirational, Sydney based artist Jodee Knowles, known for her whimsical, dark and occasionally confronting paintings. Jodee has been carving her path in the Australian and international art scene, with shows nationally and abroad. Her work tinkers with the idea of the human condition and targets a hidden quiet place within all of us, it is captivating on both a visual and emotional level, all while taking you to places aesthetically unexplored.
Being the diverse creative she is, Jodee and her partner Gerard J. Cranney also run a wickedly dark clothing brand, Father Superior, which is a collaborative label, focusing on their creative community as well as taking a poignant look at fast fashion and retaliating with the furry that is Father superior’s aesthetic.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m still not sure who I am... what I do know is I am a creative, desperately trying to find a kind balance between certainty and the uncertainty. I work as a visual artist attempting to create images of relatable emotional states to the anonymous public, focusing on understanding the human condition. My characters are a reflection on myself and my experiences as well as others around me.
If you could be any animal what would it be?
I would be a golden jellyfish, they are very rare and dependant on light to survive, they are also hosts to many other organisms and these organisms are reliant on the golden jellyfish for survival, they live in the jellies tissues and provide their hosts with energy as a byproduct of their photosynthesis.
Nachos or hot chips?
Definitely hot chips, my mum tells me as a child I opted for hot chips over sweets and lollies most of the time.
Name three things you find beautiful?
There is a certain look people some times give, my partner and I have attempted to document this look and have dubbed it “the knowing face”. It is when you catch someone off guard with something they did not know or are taken back by something, it is a face which your false mannerisms fade away and the true self is shown, it’s as if you almost see the persons soul, I find that beautiful.
I find well constructed sentences Beautiful, in poetry, novels and great film.
I find it beautiful when you see another person look at someone they love like they are a painting
When did you first start creating and with what medium?
I started after high school and met the love of my life at tafe, he was very talented and changed how I viewed the world and art and taught me how to be brave and to not be afraid to get my message across with my visual art, it was mainly little sketches with pen on paper. His name was Matt Doust who was an incredible oil painter who sadly died at a young age from epilepsy. My works now has evolved into paintings but I still use pen as it’s my favourite medium.
How has your practice changed over time?
I developed my style early on in my practice, over the last 10 years I’ve been refining this, it has evolved into emotional content that the public seems to relate to. it has been a natural progression due to time and repetition.
What artists do you most identify with or admire?
Milan Kundera the author, egon shceille, Francis bacon, Creon, Anthony Lister, Charlie kaufman and Jim Carey.
What themes do you pursue or explore?
It depends on the collection I’m working on, however, much to do with opposites- light and dark, weightlessness and heaviness And always playing with concepts of time, space and isolation.
Do you find the artistic life lonely?
At times it is, but I could not imagine doing anything else, it can be hard constantly being your own boss, however, it does give you the freedom to shape your future and own your decisions confidently.
How do you find the Sydney art scene?
The Sydney art scene has dropped off a lot and I find the galleries and magazines tend to re use the same people and brands based on friendship groups and clicky scenes which is very frustrating. But I do see a lot of people breaking free of this too and I hope soon it can be a little more flexible and diverse.
Whats next on the horizon?
My partner and I have been working on our fourth collection for our label Father Superior, with the release of our new hp and Microsoft advert coming out this week to promote the label and our art work. I Will be having a long stint in the blue mountains doing a residency, working on a very important solo show and installation concept, plus lots more mural with the launch of three new walls at internationally renowned hair salon Valonz.