Chris Knox painting takes centre stage

 

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A painting by musician and art critic Chris Knox is now taking pride of place in Dunedin's quirky Museum of Natural Mystery.

Knox was the frontman of Dunedin punk band The Enemy, a short-lived quartet who kick-started what is known as "The Dunedin Sound", and his painting is of how the band looked in 1977.

Based on a publicity photograph from time, Knox's painting shows himself along with bassist Mick Dawson, drummer Mike Dooley and guitarist Alec Bathgate.

Knox went on to work extensively with New Zealand record label Flying Nun and later had success with the radio-friendly pop song Not Given Lightly.

Ten years ago Knox was affected by a stroke, causing partial paralysis, but that did not stop him from creating the artwork earlier this year.

The Enemy - painted by former band member Chris Knox. Image: The South Today
The Enemy - painted by former band member Chris Knox. Image: The South Today
Bruce Mahalski, who runs the off-beat Museum of Natural Mystery from his house in Royal Tce, said he was very pleased to get hold of the painting.

"To have a painting of The Enemy by the frontman of The Enemy, even though Chris has a stroke a few years ago, he did the painting with his left hand, which makes the painting all the more remarkable".

Mahalski is one of many people of his generation who recognise the influence of Knox's band on the Dunedin's punk scene.

"In 1977, they kicked the door of Dunedin music in and showed a new way.

"It really led the way for all those bands that came along after, like The Clean, The Chills and The Straitjacket Fits - there wouldn't have been those bands without The Enemy."

Quirky sculptures in Museum of Natural Mystery. Photo: The South Today
Quirky sculptures in Museum of Natural Mystery. Photo: The South Today

Knox's art piece is displayed in the museum along with other unique and bizarre artworks - many made by Mahalski out of bone and shell.

Mahalski said he traded one of his hand-crafted bone artworks for the painting. 

- By Rudy Hueting of The South Today

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