Brisbane-based artist Michelle Knowles has invented her own symbolic world of iconography, combining everyday materials in a fantastical manner. The result: these bizarre headpieces and objects that look like something out of a tribal ceremony. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to put one on and wear it on a night out.
There has always been an intrinsic link between Religion and Art, something about expressing the divine, or translating the Godly into pictorial form for the masses. Knowles, in a similar way to the over-referenced Marcel Duchamp, celebrates the ordinary, elevating it not to the status of art, but of ritualistic totem. The skulls with pink feathers attached are a glam-headpiece, the teeth protruding along the models skull like a neolithic headband. The photographs themselves are reminiscent of the activist group The Guerilla Girls – particularly the advertising campaign involving a woman flexing her arm muscle, wearing a gorilla mask. Whilst not as aggressive, Knowles offers an escape from the mass-produced, fake jewelled, made-in-china accessories so popular in stores.
Text by Marion Piper