Painting & Printmaking School of Fine Art

Derek Knox (He/Him)

b. 1991, Glasgow, Scotland.

These artworks are a response to the experience of exploring place as represented by Google Streetview. An activity which, for me, became increasingly frequent and symbolic after recent restrictions placed on societal movement. I use the program to examine places and architectural structures with resonance in my personal history, often those now permanently altered from my memories or which have vanished entirely in an ever-changing city.

I appropriate imagery from the programs consistently renewed pool to make artworks which serve as a lament for the threatening of historic structures by encroaching modernity. Through sampling, preexisting compositions are subject to a process of translation and re-staging, imbued with alternative meaning.

The works reflect a world overloaded with images, and paintings parallels with both the screen and image-based technology. The result is essentially landscape painting as dictated by the digital age and the internet, without omitting graphic details and glitches. Sometimes the figures frozen within this alternate world appear, with other seemingly accidental elements, questioning Streetview’s intentions. Whether the object intruding on the road is impeding Google’s efforts, or if Google is there to document this situation.

Play is integral to my working process. Materials are not discouraged from displaying their inherent qualities and much like the unplanned aspects of a photograph, spontaneous occurrences in the studio are retained and reused in sequence.

Some works have a quiet stillness, embracing the ideas of honesty in painting, vagueness and provisionality. Others are more complex: stitching together photographs of a site, captured during different times and conditions, and merging them as one. The experience of travelling digitally on real-life streets is compressed into one static but layered painting.

With the projects progression, I would visit sites more far afield than Glasgow, locations in Scotland where I had never physically visited but had intent to. The aim was to depict places and buildings which cannot be adequately glimpsed through Googles lens; playing on the unreliability of technology as an allusion to memory, history and dreams of place.

Contact
dereksknox@gmail.com
D.Knox1@student.gsa.ac.uk
Instagram: @d.knox.work
Works
‘Setting For a Contest’
‘Mortuary’
‘Quiet’
‘Supersede Me’
‘Puddle’
Untitled
Untitled
‘Sketch for Puddle’

‘Setting For a Contest’

Oil on canvas,

95 x 113.5 cm,

2021.

 

Installation Detail

‘Mortuary’

Oil on Card,

30 x 40.5 cm (unframed),

2022.

‘Quiet’

Oil on canvas,

25 x 30 cm,

2022.

‘Supersede Me’

Oil on board,

99 x 140 cm,

2022.

 

Installation view

‘Puddle’

Oil on board,

38 x 68 cm,

2022.

 

Untitled

Graphite, ink, acrylic and coloured pencil on paper,

39 x 57 cm,

2022.

Installation View

Untitled

Graphite, ink, acrylic, coloured pencil and correctional fluid on paper,

47.5 x 64 cm,

2021.

 

‘Sketch for Puddle’

Graphite, acrylic, ink, coloured pencil and correctional fluid on card,

approx. 30 x 50 cm,

2022.