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Writing (MA)

Wes Knowler

Wes Knowler is a writer. His essays, criticism and prose poems have snuck their way into/onto Montez Radio, DAISYWORLD✿MAGAZINE #2 NO WINTER LASTS FOREVER, NO SPRING SKIPS ITS TURN, The Peckham Books Review of Books, Soanyway Magazine, and A Life Time NR3414.

He is currently working on his first essay collection – building on the Final Major Project submitted for the Writing programme – entitled DyS/DiS; which traces the (dis)embodied subjectivities of anorexia across historical memory as an act of uneasy catharsis. The extracts of the work presented here sit in dialogue with the author’s own research materials, photography, and marginalia, alongside visual responses to an early draft of the text by artist and friend Ben Victor Waggett.

I am interested in the present-absence of what is left behind, what endures or survives, what persists, abeys: ‘the strange heart of remoteness as the life and the sole heart of the thing.’ In rubble and ruin and left-behind and gone-before. In lingerings, lost confessions, buried testimonies; the scraps of soiled notes you find on the street. In the power and labour of writing and research to trace those bereft lives-lived, their affects, and tie them up in knots.

I am drawn toward what doesn’t sit right, what does not respect order or category; the indeterminate, the inchoate. Toward the remainingness of raw material testimony – the tracts and marks in rock and soil. In mapping and mark-making and path-carving and way-finding. In the persistence of memory (preverbal, proverbial, collective), and in different appellations of time (nostalgic, dissident, anticapitalist). 

I love the overwrought and the hopelessly curious, and the potential of this curiousness to cocoon and recode a sense of anchorage, or belonging, in a world which feels anything but. Ultimately I am motivated by the body itself, (whether disordered / contorted / alienated or reclaimed), as the resonant gauze through which all of the above passes through.

'Wind Swept Folly' — Graphite stick, powder, eraser and emulsion on canvas. 26 x 21 cm. 2019.
'Red Rivulet' — Oil paint, graphite stick and acrylic on canvas. 40 x 30 cm. 2021.
'Hewn' — Graphite powder, stick and eraser on canvas board. 40 x 30 cm. 2019.
'Cobbled' — Graphite powder, putty, eraser and emulsion on canvas. 25 x 20 cm. 2020.