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David Knott

Recent Paintings

27 Oct - 5 November 2009



101 Art Gallery PRESS RELEASE


David Knott  exhibits at 101 Art Gallery

101  Art Gallery, Federation Park, Port of Spain,  hosts the Exhibition of Recent  Paintings by artist David Knott.

The exhibition  opens on Tuesday  27 October 2009 at 7 pm – 8.30 pm and ends on Thursday 5 November  2009.

David Knott grew up in England, but has resided in Tobago for the past 55 years.

His interest in painting was stimulated initially by his art teacher in Grammar School in Dorking in England in the 1940’s. Art at school was compulsory up to subject selection for ‘O’ levels. He happily grabbed art as an alternative to chemistry.

He shone at art in rather a lazy way, winning school prizes and got a university place on his  general ‘O’ level results .The Principal at the College of Estate Management said  “Let him do what he likes for ‘A’ level.”  He did  Art, English and History. 

His art teacher was disappointed he did not go to Art College. He felt in those days there was no future except in ‘Commercial Art’. He saw highly talented artists who went to Art College ending up in mundane jobs, such as painting ceramic door knobs.

David Knott graduated as a chartered surveyor and came to Tobago in 1954. At first, he admits, that although surrounded by such natural and beautiful tropical scenery he did no painting at all. Only in the early 1980’s when thinking of slowing his work pace did it occur to him that he could fill his spare time by painting again. So, he took up the brushes and set to. It took some time to settle to it again.

David Knott has had several exhibitions in Trinidad over the years.

His paintings are usually landscapes inspired by the topography and botany of Tobago. Some are of the flowers that so enhance the beauty of the landscape. The mediums he uses are oil paints, acrylic paints or soft pastels. He feels that his water colours come out dry and unsatisfactory, not the lovely wet and luminescent creations he aims to produce. Paintings never turn out to be what he preconceived and hoped they would be or representative of what he had in mind when he started them. They tend to develop a life of their own. Contrary to general perception one is not struck by a wonderful burst of inspiration, only by the need to get on with the exhausting but satisfying work of painting.


Artist Statement
Tobago has offered me the opportunity to live for 55 years in a uniquely beautiful island with people of great charm and natural courtesy.

This is the third time I am putting my work on show and at risk in the public view.  The considerable intervals between shows are due to other activities such as earning a living, but I no longer have that excuse. 

When I look back at my earlier efforts I realise how much I was and still am influenced by the impressionists. I have struggled in this presentation to loosen my style and quite an effort it is. I still drift back as one can see.  The conception is so often overcome by the eye and muscle memory and the target can be missed by miles.  

People say 'How lucky you are to be able to paint'.  That is true, but it fails to recognise that inspiration has so little to do with the result and, as with any other worthwhile activity; it is the work that matters.  In my case the journey from eye to brain to brush to palette to canvas and round and round again, keeping the connection is a long and tiring one. Rewarding, however, and satisfying too. 

I hope my work presents and reflects my love and affection for all the good things that are an inextinguishable quality of a life in Tobago and the sense of wonder that never leaves me. 

People say ‘Oh you’re an artist”. I say ‘No, I’m a painter’. 

David Knott

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