JULIA F KNIGHT
We all share the experience of being human. Though our day to day lives may look different, and so too our outlooks on life, we have more in common than differences. No more than in the realm of Emotion.
Emotion is the language of our internal landscape. We feel it every moment, even if we try to suppress it; triggered by thoughts, memories, our senses and of course our personal interpretation of our physical environment and relationships. We even feel it in relation to envisaging the future and experience it as though it were taking place in the present.
Emotions drive our actions.
Our wellbeing both positive and negative, is directly effected by how aware we might be of what our subconscious is communicating. When we recognise and understand the messages, we can take steps to move towards what we would rather feel. It is then becomes an active choice.
That changes our experience of life.
So why this statement?
I realise now that all of my work over the years, be it art, music video, film, dance and even advertising, has for me, always been about looking through the lens of Emotion.
My drive has been to find the most authentic expression within all the material I have worked with and all pieces I have worked on…. which translates to authenticity in performances, character motives and how the storyline comes together. This transfers to the audience and that is a responsibility..
Being able to step into the emotional space of another, is an opportunity to build empathy, our emotional intelligence and challenge ourselves to connect more deeply; Strengthening communication and community.
I believe it's true to say, most people want to feel heard and understood. That feeling translates as being Loved.
I have always been interested in the art of Storytelling.
I grew up listening to audio books and radio plays, loved the theatre, film and music; studied English Literature, Language, and History and spent much of my time training to be a ballet dancer, before focusing on Fine Art.
In my early years, I was interested in how we take in information. I was acutely aware of the expectation of the school system, that we ‘should’ learn the same way. As a dyslexic, I spent a lot of my life trying to hide where I have found things difficult.
These paintings and installations played with the idea of misinterpretations and individualism. I was interested in patterns and games, within the expression of art.
I went on to do a B.A Hons degree, in Fine Art, at Chelsea School of Art and Design. I was keen to use film as part of my work, with the mind to become a Film Director. By chance I discovered a Steinbeck hidden away in the building and spent quite a bit of time teaching myself to edit with 16mm footage; and I loved the world that opened up when combining sound with picture. As a child I’d fall asleep listening to audio books, and the power of story through sound alone, had really sparked my imagination.
I bought a super 8 camera and spent my first year making little films but soon realised that the type of ambitions I had, could not be achieved at college without a team behind me.
I changed direction and began to paint large cinematic, first-person, observational oil paintings. I called them Scenescapes, situation paintings. Many of these were based on images from travelling. I painted with more of a technicolour type colour palate, to evoke cinematic glamour. The subject of the image wasn't about a particular person or event, instead more about the excitement or emotion felt within the moment. The vanishing points of these images were first person, and the paintings would be hung at eye level to reflect this. Some of these images would incorporate the idea of multiple film stills, where the relationship between the images on the canvases, would create a story. All were painted in a very flat and thin application to evoke more of a screen-like quality.
I also experimented with film in combination with paint. This I am now picking this idea back up in the present day.
After college, I painted for a few years but hadn't given up on idea of film. I found myself gravitating towards offline Film Editing. In the offline, you build the story through the interaction of shots, performance choices, sound etc. At times even reevaluating and re-writing the whole vision, once all the material has been shot and you know what you have to work with.
It’s the least talked about department, and the most creative if you ask me. Like that of a wizard with all the tools. The collaborative process involves working with many departments but most of all, directly with the author of the piece, which in most cases is the Director, to help them sculpt their vision into form.
In doing so you contribute your own energy and vision to the process, and have the awesome opportunity to touch others by speaking to their emotion.
I have always loved the all encompassing nature of watching film; That as an audience, you can become so absorbed in living a character’s journey, that you forget your own.
Film has an extraordinary ability to connect us, and stay in our psyche in a profound way.
My editing career has spanned more than 15 years. It’s been very varied in the types of projects I have collaborated on. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the world’s leading directors, actors, musicians, creatives for Global Music Labels, Advertising Agencies and Brands. I feel very privileged to have been involved in works that had a meaning and impact for audiences.
My Biography covers the work in more detail, along with where I have been involved in Judging for UK and International awards.
ART AND FILM
I feel the process of painting and editing is similar, especially in the areas of decision making, focus and concentration of time. Both have moments where you have to kill off parts dear to you, in order that the piece can come together as a whole. Both require perfectionism and perseverance, to help you push through those times where it is hard to crack; and not get overwhelmed by the task ahead. And every change opens the door for previously discarded ideas and parts to come back into play. Both should be a constant learning and that's what makes it exciting. The piece will always know what it is. It's up to us to listen; there lies the magic.
I have always pushed against being pigeon holed into a genre of Edit, or a style of Editor. I have never called myself a Female Editor because for me, it feels like another form of containment and division. It comes with assumptions of what I can do and what I am interested in.
I am an Editor, just as I am an Artist. I have never understood the need to put Gender in front of a job title.
I enjoy the diverse nature of possibility and take the opportunity to be expansive.
This is the same with painting or my art as a whole. I don't have a fixed colour plate, or material. I stick with the ideology that I will find the right course for the idea, and see where it takes me.
In 2020, with the onset of the global pandemic and with my Father's terminal cancer progressing, I stepped away from Editing, both to help my parents, and to take a new direction. I started to tap back into my own emotional landscape, channeling the energy I used to dedicate to film collaborations, into new work that stemmed solely from my own intuition.
My Father’s condition in his last 18 months, meant he was unable to leave his bed. Audio books, plays, films and music, were transformative and transportational, lifting him away from his immediate limitations, and into limitless spaces of his imagination. I remember how fundamental that was.
My Father and I went on a real journey together during his illness and I learnt so much from him, both by watching and experiencing how the energy healing and his Faith, changed his experience of Cancer, and also with what it means to be Present. He was so determined and strong willed, and would choose to be peaceful, despite the circumstances he found himself in.
We utilised all his senses, with sound, and using essential oils and oils on his body and his room, as well burning incense to change his space energetically. But there's no doubt, that love of and from family and friends played an enormous part, along with the amazing food my Mother provided, which kept him with us far longer!
The experience has influenced my new work. I have become more engaged in where Emotion relates to Intuition, our energy and our spirituality.
I have been guided to find avenues to incorporate healing energy, into artwork. The first incarnation has been the Reiki Lino carvings, where I used Reiki as a physical tool to create a healing deck, in Tarot imagery. These can been seen on the website under LINO REIKI PRINTS.
My latest paintings have been an exploration of where I am today. They are far more varied in size, shape and subject. I have pushed myself to try lots of different forms of expression… portraits, landscapes, scenes… and have been challenging myself not to be limited in what I will try…. even if means looking fear square in the face.
It's an exciting new chapter: Trusting in the Unknown.