John Knap


Sometimes, as an artist, it is quite difficult to pin point the reason you choose a subject to paint, let alone find a definite meaning behind the choice. There is certainly an emotional reaction when I see an image or subject that I want to paint. Sometimes it’s subconscious and sometimes it’s quite physical, almost like a rush of creative adrenaline. It’s initially something to do with their eyes; or their expression; or their aesthetic beauty.

For the meaning behind my work, I could rattle off many old adages – “Can’t judge a book by its cover”, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, “The eyes are the windows to the soul” etc, etc. All of which would be accurate ways of describing my motivation. But I guess it all boils down to intuition. My intuition allows me to know who I want to paint as soon as I see them. With this body of work, I have relied on this creative intuition to guide and decide who should be included.

I have chosen a variety of subjects, all female, spanning a number of age groups and backgrounds. Some are famous; some are ordinary; some have been through a lot; some have just started. Like the old onion cliché, they have many layers. I have endeavoured to express this by uniting the realistic with the deconstructed, the monochromatic with the vivid. They are strong and resilient, yet delicate and vulnerable. Some have lost this vulnerability and some have used it to their advantage. Above all, however, they are beautiful. If that’s the basic reason my intuition compels me to create, so be it. Here it is.”

—John Knap, 2012


Solo exhibitions

2012 Jackman Gallery, St Kilda, Melbourne

2012 Gasworks Art Park, Albert Park, Melbourne

2010 Jackman Gallery, St Kilda, Melbourne

2010 Gasworks Art Park, Albert Park, Melbourne

2009 Jackman Gallery, St Kilda, Melbourne

2008 Jackman Gallery, St Kilda, Melbourne

2008 Incinerator Arts Complex, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne

2008 The Makeshift Gallery, Fitzroy, Melbourne

2007-08 Incube8r Gallery, Collingwood, Melbourne

2007 ‘RITUALS’, Jackman Gallery, St Kilda, Melbourne

2006–08 Filter, Fitzroy, Melbourne

2006 Jackman Gallery, St Kilda, Melbourne

2005–06 FreeStyle Tout, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

2005 ‘ATTRACTION’, SODA Gallery, Avalon, Sydney

2004 FreeStyle Tout, Rosalie, Brisbane

2002 ‘DIS-COVER-ED’, Lychee Lounge, West End, Brisbane

2000 ‘Fragments of Class’, Moray Café, New Farm, Brisbane

Group exhibitions

2009 ‘Belvedere Vodka Art Exhibition’, McCulloch Gallery, Melbourne

2009 ‘Williamstown Festival Contemporary Art Prize’, New Port, Melbourne

2008 ‘Melbourne on Canvas’, Zephyr Gallery, Docklands, Melbourne

2004 ‘ArtForce’ initiative, Traffic Signal Box Public Art, New Farm, Brisbane

2004 ‘Rosalie Art Show’, FreeStyle Tout, Rosalie, Brisbane

2004 ‘Rainbow Chasers', WiseArt Gallery, Brisbane City

2004 ‘Abused Child Trust Exhibition’, Riverside Centre, Brisbane City

2004 ‘Artshow 542, Powerhouse Museum, New Farm, Brisbane

2000–03 ‘ArtForce’ initiative, Traffic Signal Box Public Art, Brisbane City

2000–03 ‘ArtScape’, Padua Collage, Kedron, Brisbane

1999 ‘Pride Exhibition’, Fireworks Gallery, Newstead, Brisbane


2009 Finalist,Williamstown Festival Award

2004 Overall Runner Up, ArtForce initiative

2003 People’s Choice, ‘ArtScape’

2003 Highly Commended, ArtForce initiative

2000–02 Highly Commended, ArtForce initiative


Corporate Nippondenso, Japan

Private Collections throughout Australia, USA, UK, Europe and Canada