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by Catherine Knight

"In my photographic work I was always especially entranced by the moment when the shadows of reality, so to speak, emerge out of nothing on the exposed paper, as memories do in the middle of the night, darkening again if you try to cling to them, just like a photographic print left in the developing bath too long"(extract from Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald)

Upon waking from a dream, the harder you try to recall details and events, the faster they disappear, leaving just a trace of a feeling that remains with you for the rest of the day.

 My fascination with the process of sifting through old family photographs of people who are part of me, yet quite unknown, is the motivation behind these paintings. Created from found photographs together with guidebook images and postcards, these compositions toy with perspective and scale. They mirror how family histories and personal mythologies are half- remembered, smoothed over, and exaggerated over time.

In trying to piece together and make sense of my own history I come across gaps and holes where knowledge has been lost. Sontag has described the photograph as "an imaginary possession of a past that is unreal[1]" and this provides an entry point to my work.

 Photographs ultimately offer limited information and their full story is not revealed. Made from images collaged together, mixing places, times and histories, the playfulness in the paintings creates new narratives and alternative realities.

 The source photographs are black and white, so I am free to introduce colour in a more conceptual way. The colours used have a slightly unreal, unnatural feel with suggestions of colour negatives or old Technicolor films. This feeling of colour reversal reflects the sense of "looking back" through time and dwelling on past people and places. The heightened colouration suggests a romanticised or hazed over version of events. Through the process of painting, the images are re-invented and re-told creating dreamlike, other- worldly states.

 The paint is applied in fluid layers, dripping and seeping across the surface creating a fine line between control and chance. The translucent layers, with the white of the ground still visible beneath, creates a feeling of transience. The world created is not a stable one and the scenes depicted seem on the verge of change. There is a sense of loss and displacement present and an intended ambiguity is felt which is emphasised by the loose, fluid paint.

[1] Susan Sontag, On Photography, p.9

Born: Cornwall 1982 


Bath Spa University, 2007- 2008, MA Fine Art- Distinction

University of Wales Institute of Cardiff, 2001- 2004, BA Hons Fine Art- First Class Honours

Falmouth College of Arts, 2000- 2001, Foundation Diploma in Art &Design- Distinction


Selected Exhibitions:


Solo Show, Exeter Phoenix Cafe Gallery 

Veiled VoyagesView Art Gallery, Bristol 



Remote Viewing, curated by Chris Barr, Motorcade/Flashparade 

Solo show: Memories to Draw on, Sidcot Arts Centre, N. Somerset

No.1 Paint, Blank Space Media, Manchester

Motorcade/Flashparade Open Painting Competition, selected by Peter Bonnell, Matthew Burrows and Maggie Royle.

HerStory by Womens Work, The Link Gallery, University of Winchester

Studio 17 Spring Show, Motorcade/Flashparade, curated by Fiona Cassidy


Here and Now, View Art Gallery, Bristol

Royal West  of England 158th Autumn Exhibition, Bristol

The Open, Motorcade/Flashparade, Bristol, curated by Philip Northcott 

Stories, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, curated by Helen Oliver

New Year, New Work, View Art Gallery, Bristol


Solo Show at Bath Spa University Gallery, Weston College

Big Bones was selected for The National Open Art Competition, Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Summer Show, View Art Gallery, Bristol

6 @ The Octagon, Fringe Art Bath


Lucid DreamFringe Art Bath


MA and other Postgraduate Exhibition, Atkinson Gallery, Millfield, Somerset


Transitions, School Gallery, Bath Spa University

Royal West of England 156th Autumn Exhibition, Bristol

Sefton Open, Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport

MA Show, Bath Spa University, Sion Hill, Bath  

MA Interim Show, School Gallery, Bath Spa University

Group show, Guild Hall, Bath

SMALLPRINT; Big Impression, International mini-print exhibition, starting at Leicester print workshop and moving round the UK over 12 months


reside: end of residency show at Bootham School

Solo show, City Screen Bar,York

Solo show, Summit Bookshop, Kirkbymoorside

York Open Studio 

21st century Watercolour exhibition, Royal Watercolour Society, Bankside Gallery, London


Postcard Show, Surface Gallery, Nottingham

Headingley Triangle, Leeds

You are Here, Sancreed house, Penzance

Lunch cafe, Truro, Cornwall

Landscape & Memory, The Ropewalk, North Lincolnshire


The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

Christmas Show, Vitreous Gallery, Truro, Cornwall

Drawing Out the City, Bayart Gallery, Cardiff

Summer Light, Falmouth Arts Centre, Cornwall

St. Ives Festival Exhibition, Cornwall

Summer show, Washington Gallery, Penarth

New (ad) Venture, Vitreous Gallery, Cornwall



Artist in Residence at Bootham School, York, 2006- 2007



Royal West of England Academy Student Bursary Winner 2008 

Shortlisted for Harry Holland Painting Award, 2004

Dulcie Mayne Stephens Travel Scholarship 2003