City Library Gallery, Melbourne
One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
– Emily Dickinson
A girl flits between rooms: is she running towards something or away? How can a house contain landscapes? What is this place?
Drawing on the imagery of Gothic literature, The Monster House is an ongoing, semi-autobiographical project exploring themes of pursuit, concealment, longing, disquiet, and threat. With these carefully constructed small-scale models, Knibbs creates physical analogues for states of strong emotion, brought together as one large house of the mind: surreal, mutable, non-linear.
Repetition and obsession are integral to the work: on the one hand, the familiarity of something repeated, the soothing rhythms of recurring activity (such as cutting and folding thousands of tiny envelopes). On the other, events playing out over and over in nightmarish repetition, and obsessive circular thoughts.