John Ward Knox

$80.00 NZD - $100.00 NZD / Sold Out


Living in his van and navigating with the aid of homemade maps, Auckland born artist John Ward Knox resides in the roads and hidden spaces of Te Wai Pounamu, particularly around Otago. Ward Knox documents his travels with photographs, telling the gentle stories of objects and places the conventional traveller would often miss.

Born in Auckland, 1984, he studied at Elam School of Fine Arts and graduated with an MFA in 2008. Since graduating Ward Knox has received the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship, had work exhibited at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Chartwell Collection, Govett-Brewster Gallery and James Wallace Arts Trust. He has sought to abandon his recent success in the studio for the ‘sustenance of chance that so infrequently visits a closed room.’

Ward Knox has the knack of telling the story of something we’d otherwise ignore, assigning value to places few of us would venture to.
In our world, travel often means consumption of cultures and nature through guided tracks and intense planning. John Ward Knox subverts the ingrained structures of travel for the spontaneous and uncontrived. He uses his travel as a source of creation, not consumption. Written by Joel Thomas for Art Ache, full article here.

Artist's website: John Ward Knox

Artwork is printed on Ilford Smooth Cotton Rag 310gsm, with Archival Inks by Fine Art printer Sanji Karu at Skar Image Lab
Paper size: A4 (297 x 210mm).

This archival print has been created with authority of John Ward Knox.
Estimated delivery time 4 weeks from purchase.
Each Artwork comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Artist statement on their work:
As a broadly engaged practitioner, I've often had need of a studio and I greatly appreciate such a dedicated space, especially as a deadline becomes imminent. A roofed-over place with both storage capacity and functionality is its own kind of paradise, however, I always find myself drawn to abandon – to the sustenance of chance that so infrequently visits a closed room. As such, through my many and varied threads of practice, I find myself most often wandering in public or wilderness, scanning from horizontal footfall and back again.

Over time my concept of the artists' importance has trickled away from the notion of artist as conduit for thought and theory - as is so often taught in our tertiary institutions - to a much simpler principle of quietly being somewhere with eyes open to the poise and poetry of everyday occurrence. I am increasingly drawn to the story over artifact as the world seems to proliferate in beauty and complexity the longer and closer one looks.

As a traveller at home and abroad I value depth over breadth of experience, chance above planning. My habit of map-making – woefully inadequate as guides to anything other than confusion - has been a constant and indicates something of the ambulatory and fleeting nature of my engagement with the architectures of geography and planning. I think they carry some indication of the values I operate from.

If I or some other were to try to follow a map of mine literally, they'd soon find themselves standing at some unrecognised spot, looking about themselves for a sign or symbol of direction which probably doesn't exist. Here they'd be impelled either to ask a kindness of a stranger or to make their own judgement and follow their nose, which is just perfect.
– John Ward Knox 2018 for Art Ache