Arts Project Australia‘s first exhibition for 2014, Knowing Me Knowing You (KMKY), will question the collaborative process and explore the complex nature of collaboration between professional artists.

We invited artist and curator Lindy Judge to work with us to create an in-depth collaborative investigation involving ten of our studio artists and ten external contemporary artists. From 2012 through 2013, cinematographer Shelley Farthing-Dawe has been filming the evolution of the project as a film journal that will later be edited into a documentary.

This post is the second in a series of artist interviews, and will focus on the collaboration between Arts Project Australia artist Kate Knight and external artist Martin King.

Artist Kate Knight and Martin King planning their collaborative KMKY project in the Arts Project Australia studio.


Tell us about your background. Have you studied? What is your practice and have you always been an artist?
MK: I went to art school in Melbourne, studying painting and printmaking. My practice now spans mostly drawing, printmaking and animation.
KK: I studied education at RMIT in 2000. I did art since high school and I’ve always considered myself to be an artist. I am a painter and printmaker.
Where is your studio based? Describe it. How often do you work there?
MK: My studio is in East Brunswick, a warehouse space, (given the appellation ‘the Gulag’ by the group of artists who set the space up). It has had many artists go through the space over twenty years or so. I work there most days.
KK: I work here at Arts Project Australia. Its nice and a good place to work and I work Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Exhibitions are a big part of an artist’s life. With that in mind, where have you exhibited your artwork recently? Where would you like to show your work in future?
MK: This year I have exhibited in Sydney, Melbourne and regional galleries in Victoria and Tasmania.
KK: I have exhibited here at Arts Project Australia and it C3 Gallery in Abbotsford.
What inspires you?
MK: I am inspired by the notion that art can act as an intervention to the everyday stream of life.
KK: Just…work here inspires me. I like painting buildings and making animations.

Artists Kate Knight and Martin King working together on their collaborative KMKY project.

How did you first find out about Arts Project Australia?
MK: I worked with some of the artists from Arts Project in the early 90’s, they used to come to the Australian Print Workshop to make etchings and lithographs which I would edition for them.
KK: My mum rang up and we came down for an interview and I got in.
The KMKY project has been collaborative for all involved. Do you normally work collaboratively? If so, can you talk a bit about they way you approach this process. If not, can you talk a bit about why you have never worked collaboratively before working on KMKY.
MK: I am very familiar with working in a collaborative environment. Working as a printer to artists making limited edition prints requires a collaborative understanding (it could be seen as a partnership) between the artist and the printer where the artist brings the creative concept and the printer furnishes the partnership with the technical expertise in a creative way.
KK: No. I don’t know why I haven’t worked collaboratively before.
What did you hope to get out of this collaboration? What were your expectations?
MK: I hoped to produce a piece of work that grew out of each artist’s vision but stepped outside of their usual process of production.
KK: I thought it was going to be good – just working with Martin. I didn’t know Martin before.
Were there any highlights along the way that particularly stick out in your mind?
MK: The highlights for me were working in the studio at Arts Project where the artists were working on their own projects as well as casually interacting with each other. Involving some of the other artist in doing voice-overs for the animation also brought a lot of fun and mirth to the project.
KK: Making the animation with Martin was the fun part.
Were there any challenges? If so, can you explain? 
MK: The challenges were in developing, drawing and photographing the individual stills to adhere to the narrative while keeping the whimsicality of Kate’s drawings.
KK: No not really.
How do you feel now that the project is finished and waiting for exhibition? Give an insight into the process? Are you happy with the final artwork(s)?
MK: Kate drew the individual bird characters and the backgrounds for them. I then animated the birds by redrawing each of them in slightly different positions that indicated the movement they were to undertake. Kate then hand coloured each one of the drawings. The animation comprises around three hundred individual drawings. I am happy with the finished work. It’s a short story rather than novel length, a flight of fancy.
KK: It makes me feel good that I have nearly got the work finished. We talked about the work and came up with the story together; Martin did the drawings while I painted them. We had people talk over the animation.
How would you describe the finished artwork?
MK: The work could be described as one of Kate’s whimsical drawings coming to life.
KK: It’s good; it’s an animation and background paintings.
What do you hope happens to the work once this exhibition is over?
MK: I hope the animation, as well as the individual drawings, are able to be exhibited in future to reflect the diversity of Arts Project artists outputs.
KK: Maybe take it home.
(When asked if Kate would show the work again she said, “It’s something I would consider”.)
Would you ever work collaboratively again? Why/why not?
MK: I work collaboratively with other artists on a regular basis and will continue to do so. Working in this way allows the collaborators different energies and skills to inform the resulting artwork.
KK: No…maybe. I liked doing it, but it was a lot work.
Artists Kate Knight and Martin King working together on their collaborative KMKY project with curator Lindy Judge.

Here is a sneak peak of some of Kate and Martin’s preparatory sketches.

Image credits: Penelope Hunt

Thanks also to the following Supporters for their in-kind contributions:

SHELLEY FARTHING-DAWE for giving additional time and resources to the project
 for sponsoring lino for artists Angela Cavalieri & Fiona Taylor




Sim Luttin, Gallery Manager & Curator: [email protected], +61 3 9482 4484
Melissa Petty, Gallery Assistant: [email protected], +61 3 9482 4484
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