Benjamin Knock – Talking ‘Tektoniks’ at Backwoods, Melbourne

‘Tektoniks’ is the latest body of work from Benjamin Knock – ‘a multidisciplinary artist whose work aims to traverse the public into their imagination and fuse the relationship between surrealism, and our natural habitat’.  

KNOCK felt his first seismic wave a few years ago while living in the mountains of Kyushu, Japan, and now earthquakes are a central theme in this exhibition. He says the feeling of an earthquake tremor is difficult to describe in words, so instead, he has created artworks that are ‘a visual and auditory exploration of these inaudible and indescribable tectonic forces.’

We caught KNOCK on email before his show tomorrow night to discuss his recent movements, and the show itself.

Hi Knock, congrats on the upcoming show at Backwoods. Last time we checked in with you, you had just returned to Western Australia from living in Japan, and you were working towards your show ‘Biosphere’ at Level Up in Fremantle. 

Hi Ironlak, thanks for having me through again.

Since then, you moved to Melbourne, right? Why the move? Talk us through your creative journey since we last spoke.

My intentions were always to come back to Melbourne which is my Oz HQ. I’ve found myself working out of Everfresh Studios, in Collingwood, which has been a very productive place for the recent body of work I’ve been grinding away on for the last three months.

Your new show ‘Tektoniks’ opens in Melbourne this Friday. Tell us a little about the show?

TEKTONIKS is a multi-sensory exhibition exploring the world under our feet that we sometimes forget, the array of mediums such as sonic frequencies, light, pigment, and vibration.

How is this show different to your last body of work conceptually, and how have you grown as an artist since then?

This recent show with Backwoods Gallery in Collingwood delves further into the concepts of deep time, and I think is more of a true representation of my style and the direction it is currently moving in.

It’s nice to be able to keep it rough, jagged, and raw, whilst digging deeper into some uncharted territory visually and conceptually.

The show explores earthquakes and the idea that ‘humans can’t hear earthquakes’. When reading your artist statement about seismic waves caused by tectonic plates colliding, etc, it made me think of how slow those tectonic plates must move, like 2.5 cm a year,  yet their collisions cause massive change to the earth’s surface, it made me relate that concept to our progress as artists. It’s not huge actions that cause the biggest impact, but repeated small actions consistently, that have the potential to create groundswells. Is this something you considered while working on this exhibition?

Definitely. I feel I can relate to the concept of it as though you are painting a wall and the massive impact you can have when paint, ideas, and a surface meet – creating an effect that is lasting to the surface, and its viewers.

Tells us about the multi-sensory side of this exhibition. Any challenges putting that together?

It has been a very interesting process of experimentation with the different elements. I have had the chance to collaborate with the master of sonics and an old school techno head, Christopher Coe, to work on an intense soundscape that includes a lot of oscillating frequencies that complement the works and create a pretty wild immersion to view the paintings in.

Alongside this aspect, I’ve been working on some large sculptures that work in time with the lighting, to add another element for the human senses to be bombarded.


Anything else you want people to know about the show?

‘TEKTONIKS’ Opens Friday, 28 February till the 1 March. Come join us on Friday and be prepared for something very different from the normal gallery environment.

Graffiti meets hyper geological immersion.

What’s coming up for you in 20/20?

There a lot of things coming up on the horizon I’m super excited to share with you all. A lot of new exciting painting projects delving into new territory. Thanks for touching base, I look forward to seeing you all Friday.

‘Tektoniks’ by Benjamin Knock opens this Friday, 28 February, 6 – 9 PM at Backwoods Gallery – 25 Easey St, Collingwood VIC 3066

Exhibition continues until 1 March (one weekend only) open Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 6 PM.

View the Facebook opening event.

The catalogue is available now from: sales@backwoods.gallery

Follow @k_n_o_c_k on Instagram

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