Submitted Review

Paul Knight, Tim McMonagle ‘Lovelock’

  • Greenwood Street Project • Abbotsford

  • 02 December 2020—28 January 2021

  • Marielle Soni • Published 20 December 2020

Of course, Goethe’s “music is liquid architecture” comes to mind, not solely due to the six soundscapes composed by Berlin based Australian artist Knight, but also for McMonagle’s build and excavation of paint. If Knight is liquid, McMonagle is music frozen. Amongst this we find ourselves in a liminal state. Lovelock is a project of 2020.

‘Lovelock will be issued on vinyl. Square format. Even the music.’

Knight’s digital / electronic tracks are akin to film scores – mood evoking, tonal, emotional landscapes. There is genuine musicality to them – rhythm, beat, flow – composed during lockdown in Berlin. Back in Melbourne McMonagle was listening to them having accepted the invitation to respond to them in paint. It is a purposeful action of dialogue.

But my first experience of Lovelock are 6 paintings, all square format at various scale. It is a familiar hand, a passionate painter. The type of paintings you want to sink your teeth into, visceral in their material seduction. But viewed in dialogue with sound, they become something else again.

The title of each painting corresponds to the title of each score from which it was borne. Because of this conversation between them each work is worthy of individual review, a plethora of ideas to explore. ‘The Albatross’ – soars, gently gliding, a long build rising crescendo. The longest score at 13.27 mins. A major work of life and death. The albatross, oft used as a symbol in art and culture as a beauty of God’s creation, transforms in paint to a dying horse. The victim of its human master snuffed out by man’s ambitions. Lying in a mossy green portal of grass and dirt, a euphemistic pool of blood.

So, it really becomes a presentation through three mediums: Music, Paint, Word (the titles). Each impacts an affect on the visitor.

The perpetual motion of ‘Lovelock’, kinetic energy in sound, becomes an exciting new palette for the painter. A sole figure, sitting in his wheelchair, the wheel seems to spin and spin, its thick impasto, glistening surface reflects the motion of sound. A swipe and glide carries oil paint across the surface, depositing glorious globulous caterpillar creatures of paint. Extraordinary technique. The disc references the support of music itself – vinyl record. But the chair is still. Sitting under dark clouds, weight at the top, light reflection at the base. He sits motionless, despite the whirring possibilities, awaiting an unknowable future off picture plane.

McMonagle’s range of techniques appear perfectly suited to the premise of mysterious states. Solid turns transparent, figures appear from vaporous mists, drawing is painting and vice versa, gravity bears down and turns into delicate touches of light. Perfectly suited to Knight’s musical journeys.

Greenwood Street Project is not a gallery, it is a space allowable for ideas and dialogue. The one room among workspaces and studio, is the culmination of the creative discussions and output of others now presented, where the dialogue continues with me and you, the viewers.

Lovelock will be issued on vinyl. Square format. Even the music.

Marielle Soni

Disclaimer: This non-profit project is supervised by Donald Holt, a board member of The ReviewBoard. The author receives no benefit, fiscal or otherwise, for this review.