Curiosity for everyday objects is something that Roderick and I have in common. It has driven our work determinedly almost as much as our place of origin. Roderick’s hometown Riley, Alberta, has never completely vanished from his paintings. Growing up on the Canadian prairies encourages the eye to accept pure colours and uninterrupted vistas. The immeasurable open landscapes reveal miles of spectacular colour, shadow and light which can always be seen in Roderick’s paintings. To some, the Canadian prairies are barren, but to others it offers a non-judgmental perceptiveness that is ripe for the picking in art. An observant eye can detect the bold lines of a prairie artist combined with a newcomer’s optimism in Roderick’s work. His sense of curiosity is revealed in the subject matter – for it is not always the widely accepted subjects of ‘beauty’ that he paints. True to his rural background, Roderick favours utility over sensation and people over material objects. As a natural progression, his most recent work attains a new level of complexity inspired by the artful culture and remarkable landscapes of Indonesia. In an architectural sense his work is humane, vernacular, and beautiful. In twenty-some years of friendship Roderick and I have chosen similar paths. He holds fascination with culture on canvas while I explore culture in the built environment. We are both driven by personal displacement of country, culture, or vocation. We share a fascination with what the newcomer sees as well as the responsibility of cultural empathy, respect, and responsiveness. We both approach problems with the pragmatism of the prairies, the curiosity of a newcomer, and the understanding of a need for multi-lateral communication. It is through this method that Roderick’s work achieves an attentive view into culture that continues to grow more magnificent over time. Kelley Beaverford Executive Director, Architects Without Borders Canada Professor, Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba, Canada
Biography: bio Born: Ryley, Alberta, Canada, 1954 He grew up on a dairy farm in a small community on the Canadian prairie. At an early age he began to explore art, and the childhood impressions he gained of the changing prairie light and color remains a lasting influence on his work. Drawn to Europe as a teenage, he embarked on a life-long journey of immersion into different cultures. Several years and many countries later, he returned to Canada to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Alberta. In 1997 he moved to Taiwan to discover how eastern cultures and landscapes would affect his work. After living and painting in several different Asian countries, he settled in Sanur, Bali, where he now paints full time. The strongest and most constant element in his painting is the desire to explore color and light by frequently changing subject, technique, and style. The result is a startlingly vivid visual travelogue, documenting his life experience.
Site: Roderick Knudslien
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