John Arden Knight
About the Artist
For more than ten years I’ve been painting common roadside/weed plants, presenting them in front of invented landscape spaces. I am attracted to quiet, open fields where weeds grow, and I’m attracted to plants that escape the confines of our gardens, landscaping and urban development. Wild plants have many uses as food and medicine that we can re-learn. Large-scale farming and international shipping of produce of all kinds is an amazing luxury, but we have forgotten about some of the plants in our yards (some native, some foreign). I depict plants that escape property lines, but they also break through the traditional horizon line that restricts much contemporary landscape painting. As the plants grow upwards and outward, they send out shoots, blooms, and seeds. The life force contained in the plants symbolizes the power of the natural world. Bio John Knight's work has been included in Biennial exhibitions at the Portland Museum of Art and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. Nationally, he has been awarded a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center (2003-04), and residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts (1999) and the Vermont Studio Center (1994). In Maine he has been awarded residencies at Great Spruce Head Island, Acadia National Park (2002), and Monhegan Island (Carina House, 2001). He was the Maine Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellow for 2007. A 2015 grant from the Berkshire Taconic Foundation allowed for further research on medicinal and dietary uses of plants that he depicts. He resides in Portland with his wife and daughter.