February’s Featured Artist is Paul Kneale, a Brantford-born artist who has recently returned to town after 15 years abroad. Love brought Kneale back to Brantford; when visiting family about seven months ago, he met his now-fiancée, Nicole, by chance.
Growing up as the first generation of the internet age, various aspects of technology and technology’s impact on form and representation in art inform his practice. “My challenge is to transform digital phenomena back into physical objects, paintings, and sculptures,” he notes. He uses low-grade office scanners to produce large, vibrant, abstract paintings, and integrates materials like canvas, ink, metal, welding torches, concrete, and even neon into his works. He loves the process of creating, from having an idea, to working with an array of materials, pushing his work into his fantastic visions, and then seeing how the public interprets the finished pieces.
Brantford’s geography has always had an impact on Kneale. He notes that as a child, he loved to explore the historic industrial areas along the river, which he says gave him a “sense of free space and possibility.” This sense and strong understanding of both history and space are some of the most impactful experiences that continue to inform his work. He’s happy to be back in Brantford, and says that he really loves the people here. “They’re down to earth and know how to have fun and laugh.” As a returning resident, he’s enjoying his time exploring, and appreciates the physical space after living among the hustle and bustle of London, England.
His advice to emerging artists is “Don’t worry if it’s been done before. Do it again, and do it your own way. Know the history and make it your own… have fun. Art should be fun.” Kneale is planning to open a not-for-profit gallery or “project space” in Brantford to connect with local artists and involve them in international discussions. Stay tuned for more details!
Kneale is currently busy preparing for two solo exhibitions in Europe as well as a major outdoor sculpture commission in the Middle East. Most recently, he exhibited in Miami and New York City, installed a permanent outdoor sculpture for the Venice Biennale in Italy, and co-organized a biennial in Switzerland. He is also working on a film, as well as two books that will be released shortly.
For more information about Paul Kneale, click here. You can also follow Paul on Instagram @freewillsalad.
Photos: © Installation view, Paul Kneale, Cassina NYC, 2017. Courtesy of the Artist and Artuner. Photograph by Dario Lasagni (banner). Paul Kneale, Experience Economy in Retrograde, inkjet on canvas, 180” x 120”, 2017 (body).