Ian Knox is truly one of those elusive artists. Few aren’t familiar with his work. Irish News readers see him frequently and until Hearts and Minds was pulled his work was regularly before much of Northern Ireland. But his formal appearances have been infrequent, if not entirely absent. This Wednesday marks a break as Ian Knox opens a rare solo exhibition at Belfast’s Crescent Arts Centre. Lifelines and Deadlines will include a selection of his original work for the Irish News, pieces from the If You Ask Me segment from Hearts and Minds. Viewers will also be able to see samples of his magazine and book illustrations, television documentary work and pieces for news programmes. On show also will his cartoons for IPC comics. The launch will also see a more formal launch of his website here through which you can buy his cartoons directly.
It kicks off at 6.30pm and Fionnuala O’Connor will be sharing a few words. The exhibition runs to the end of the month.
Though he’s elusive, in person Ian is a very friendly, affable and warm character and has shared advice and encouraging words with me. I also had the pleasure of live drawing along Ian at the Black Box during the Belly Laugh’s festival which you can see here.
Speaking with David Roy of The Irish News Ian Knox said of his line of work as “an entertaining visual reminder of our own unique dysfunctional part of an even greater dysfunctional world.” He recounted how early on in his work with The Irish News a unionist politician took great offence at his work, serving him with a legal writ. He explained what happened:
“In the very first weeks I was with the Irish news, a writ was served by (Ulster Unionist politician) Frank Millar over a cartoon I did of him arriving in Australia. I had him putting his hands into the pouches of kangaroos and asking “where do you keep your rate-payers’ money?””
Millar died a few years later and nothing came of the case. Though he would probably be happy to hear that the writ culture still hangs large.
As Ian Knox said earlier, YOU may well be responsible for the content of some of these work, so the LEAST you can do is to turn up and share the blame. Below a selection of Ian’s work. You can also see a selection of images of Ian at work that I’ve put together here.