Joondalup Invitation Art Prize 2020
In darkness, the eternal light (2020) commands a powerful presence at 214cm (7ft) tall. Appearing like a shaman for a lost world, the work urgently calls for a shift in the way we perceive and interact with nature, and our place within it. Revealing an ongoing interest in animism, the work is inspired by pagan costumes and the Shinto influenced films of Hayao Miyazaki, along with what has become a personal totem of sorts for the artist, the banksia nut. Throughout her practice, Lia McKnight has returned to the core themes of transformation and the interconnectedness of all things. Her current work continues with these concepts, speculating on the nature of being by referring to the everyday alchemy of growth and decay. Intrigued by the idea of secret worlds pulsing and thriving beyond our awareness, McKnight’s work reveals a sense of mystery in the natural world, exploring themes of life, death, sex and magic.