Music and synchronicity play a large part in Isobel Knowles’ work. She writes, performs and records music individually and as part of the Melbourne band Architecture in Helsinki. She has also created soundtracks for a number of short films. The relationship between animation and music interests her and she animates her characters in an intuitive and improvised manner, similar to the way she composes music, rarely using a storyboard or a script.
Knowles’ inspiration for ik.rocks.it comes from a Sesame Street animation of a child walking past psychedelic landmarks on his way home and isometric pixel art from the websites such as netbabyworld.com and iconfactory.com. Her practice spans a wide variety of animation styles. Whilst ik.rocks.it comprises digital vectors, earlier works embrace paper cut-out, ink drawing, rotoscoping and stop motion. She has collaborated on gallery installations with artists such as Van Sowerwine, Haima Marriott, Madeleine Griffith, Jeremy Dower, Philip Brophy, ASKII and Cassandra Tytler.
Children and animals figure predominantly in Knowles’ work. Her fascination for their unpredictable nature is reflected in the ambiguous motivation of her animated characters. Children are drawn to the mystery and simplicity of Knowles’ animations. Adults too are intrigued but are also sometimes unnerved by the underlying darkness of her work. It is the tension of simultaneous attraction and repulsion that forms the basis of ik.rocks.it. Users are invited to interact with the work knowing that their choices may cause undesirable consequences.
Isobel Knowles has recently exhibited at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the Centre for Contemporary Photography Melbourne, Westspace, TCB, first site gallery and Gamma Space. She is also represented in the touring exhibitions House of Tomorrow and Media City Seoul 2004.
Other works have also been broadcast on ABC TV’s Recovery, Rage and Fly TV and Channel 10’s Video Hits Uncut.