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Reilly Knowles

I am at work forging attentive and reciprocal relationships with the ecosystem I inhabit. Connecting deeply with my more-than-human neighbours is an essential part of my drive to create and share. I gather debris washed from the rivers and forage plants from the forests. I then fashion textiles, drawings and paintings speaking of, and made from, my time learning from the creatures with whom I share my habitat. I am interested in the earth’s interwoven forces of growth and decay – the taking, the giving, the changing – and the way these forces act upon the human body and its artistic creations. My work is equally fascinated by marginal and monstrous figures of legend, particularly witches. Often depicted as being uniquely privy to nature’s whims, I use their alternative relationships with the natural world to challenge my limited understanding of the other-than-human. They are fissures in my perspective into which I can slip my fingers and pry open the fraught concept of nature itself. Not in search of magic, but a new way of seeing (which perhaps is a form of magic). Here I find outcasts living between the here and there, complicating rigid ideologies and embodying a resplendent and formidable queerness. Where tradition places the queer body outside of nature, I seek to rehabilitate my body’s relationship with life’s ebb and flow. My art is a project in knowing both myself and the earth more deeply, and allowing myself to find again and again that we are each other.


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