LM Knowles – Born Under A  Morning Star

The lockdown in France, (where I have been living as an artist and photographer for a number of years), started the very day I began to walk with a “moon boot” and crutches.

You see, I’d had major ankle surgery in late January and was bound to a wheelchair for almost 2 months. Since I live in a first floor apartment in Southern France, my own personal lockdown began the day of my surgery.

I’d seen the surgeon for a follow up visit just as COVID-19 was beginning to hit the news and we learned that it had already started to spread across the world to most countries. On March 16, I stood up on my two legs with my ‘moon boot’ and crutches, but because of the lockdown, I still could not leave the apartment. It also meant that my exhibition set for April was also cancelled. I was really disappointed on two counts. No exhibition and no freedom to walk outdoors as I rehabilitate and learn to walk again.

However there was a positive. Being more physically mobile, albeit with at least one arm in a crutch, the lockdown gave me more physical freedom in my little studio, and not knowing what the future held, or how long this pandemic would last, I was able to continue painting for the exhibition if it were to be rescheduled.

I painted this piece “Born Under The Morning Star” and started three others as part of an ongoing series where I explore my identity. I am an Aboriginal woman with mixed European heritage. I have embraced living in Occitanie, the ancient lands of the Roman occupation in 118 BC, the medieval world of the Cathares, and the of course the 20th Century frontier of the Surrealists. My mixed DNA of timeless and ancient cultures makes me the artist that I am.

“You’re too white to be Aboriginal”…I have been told. White skin, aboriginal kin. Venus, in western art, has always been significant in feminine iconography. My ancestors, however, viewed her as The Morning Star. Here my ‘Venus Kangaroo’ emerges as a surrealistic icon; a fusion of two cultures and ageless traditions.

LM Knowles

LM Knowles is an Australian contemporary visual artist and accomplished photographer of Indigenous and European descent. She is currently living currently living in the region of Occitanie in Southern France

She draws on her lived experiences and cross-cultural heritage, which inform and inspire her artworks in digital media, her textile and sculptural pieces and her collages and paintings. She has a strong penchant for surrealism and post-modernist philosophies.

LM has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Edith Cowan University, Western Australia and Post Graduate Diploma of Art from the Australian National University after winning a research scholarship from the National Museum of Australia in 2006. She is a qualified secondary art and digital media teacher and is currently undertaking a diploma in art therapy.  She is the recipient of a number of scholarships for Indigenous arts research and is a member of the prestigious Golden Key International Honour Society.

LM has been exhibiting in Australia since 1989 and internationally since 1993. She was represented in Rome and Assisi, Italy during the Kangaroos Arts Projects in 2015 and 2016. Her work was most recently exhibited in Retro-Perspective in Katooma, New South Wales. Her photographs were exhibited in the 20th Annual International Photo Festival at Montier-en-der, France, where she has been invited to exhibit again in 2017. Her work is held in private, corporate and public collections including City of Bunbury Indigenous Art Collection, Western Australia.

LM has been published a number of times in journals, anthologies and the most recent being Containers of Power: Women with Clever Hands by Dr Louise Hamby 2010, Utber & Patullo Publishing.