Perth born artist Jodee Knowles draws portraits of female figures with dripping eyes and they are simultaneously astonishing and heartbreaking, unbuckling human emotion and experience.

She finds her inspiration within fashion and other strong individuals in her life, yet her work essentially depicts confusion and troubling human experiences.

“My portraits are a reflection of ones memories and expectations, in which the concept of an intoxicating other is celebrated or hated by thematically dealing with the feeling of being torn between addiction and satisfaction – between excess and boredom.”


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These are the types of work that you want to look away from, because they snatch something deep inside you. But you can’t. These portraits are quizzically and intoxicatingly beautiful.

Jodee’s works have been exhibited internationally on a number of scales. Her first group exhibition in Los Angeles in 2008 had celebrities buying her portraits, after which word quickly spread. Jodee has hosted solo and collaborative projects across Australia and LA, and she’s contributed to the world’s most famous collection of murals – the Berlin Wall.




After coming back from her UK-based residency with The Cure keyboardist Roger O’Donnell, Jodee’s latest show at Goodspace Gallery in Chippendale in early October was an expression of her artistic procedure, from early stages to fruition. A multi-medium based series called PROCESS, the works were accompanied by photographer Vara Bartoz and video artist Tim Kent. Vara took photos of Jodee’s models, and she sketched and recreated his images. The video embodied a visual poem that describes the concepts of the works and how they were developed. Featuring close friends as her subjects, this series had a particular emotional importance for Jodee, and ultimately represented figurative elements of time, space and love.



What is it that draws people to Jodee’s portraits? Perhaps they remind us that we are constantly on the precipice of happiness and a deep pit of emotional darkness. Perhaps they present a view on life and death and existence that we don’t often see. They reveal something we don’t quite understand. They’re infectious.

“I am so confused and equally fascinated by life and death and the big bit in between where we just feel, try and exist,” Jodee tells Oyster mag. “Most things completely break my heart based on a lack of understanding I just don’t get it. So then I draw how I feel.”




In a workshop with Jodee, budding artists will have the opportunity to uncover her artistic process and discover the value of throwing yourself completely into shows, events and art. There is certainly a thing or two to learn from this incredibly creative individual. We’re fortunate enough to have Jodee in our sights, so keep an eye out for her upcoming class at Work-Shop.


Check out her works here:

By Emily Barlow