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Jasper Knight was born in 1978 in Sydney. He studied electronic and temporal art at The Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1999. Knight completed his formal studies in 2003, obtaining a Master of Arts, majoring in drawing and painting, from The College of Fine Arts, University of NSW. From 1999 to 2004 Knight penned illustrations for Sydney newspaper, The Chaser along with being studio assistant to Lindy Lee at Frog Hollow studios, Sydney in 2000. In 2002 he was guest lecturer and tutor at The International Eco-culture Festival in Bohol, the Philippines. In the same year he was guest lecturer with the Visual Arts faculty at the University of the Philippines. In 2005 Knight’s illustrations graced the pages of Boss magazine. In 2006 he was a board member of the Asia-Australia Arts Centre and held residency at Red Gate Studios in Beijing. With the support of the Australia Council and the City of Sydney, Knight opened Chalk Horse Gallery in 2007. In 2008 his work was exhibited in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth.
Knight fashions his art from plywood, perspex, cardboard boxes, old signs and found plastic tiles and sheets. He often reflects and respects the history of the surfaces and materials in the content of the work.
“Over the last years my work has questioned the boundary not only between high art and the amateur or postcard photo, but also between sculpture and painting.” says Knight.
Spatially, the artist’s works are varied: they privilege the surface, but at the same time play upon traditional perspective. He continues to explore the relationship between material and subject, between constructed object and painted surface, in a more abstract way.
“The subject matter, from wharves to cars, from chairs to landscape, helps explore these binary concerns and is treated in a highly architectural and linear way.” says Knight.
Knight has achieved numerous finalist nominations including The Archibald Prize (2005-2007), The Wynne Prize (2005 and 2006), Redlands Westpac art prize (emerging), Mosman Art Prize (2008). In 2006 the Sydney-based artist and curator received a marketing grant from the National Association For Visual Arts. Other grants included the Freedman Foundation travelling scholarship and a new work grant from Australia Council for the Arts in 2005.
Knight has held highly acclaimed solo, two person and group exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, London, Manila, Berlin and Beijing. He has had his work purchased by Premier Bob Carr and the image used as a greeting card by the former Minister for Education, John Aquilina. Knight’s collections feature at The Sydney Port Authority, the NSW Premier’s Office & Australian Consulate in the Philippines.
Knight is founder and Director of the Half Dozen artist run initiative. This community-driven event gives artists and supporters an opportunity to create, exhibit and buy each other’s work. Half Dozen quickly gained popularity and has now shown over 150 artists in four countries.
Knight is regarded as one of the hottest young emerging stars in Australian contemporary art.