Age - 35
London, United Kingdom
The Sierra Leone-born artist using poetry to untangle the most visceral moments of history and personal experience

Julianknxx knows a thing or two about legacy. Born Julian Knox in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the poet and interdisciplinary artist moved to London aged nine. As he grew up in the UK, Julianknxx developed his artistic persona, first using poetry at university to explore his early childhood spent in Freetown, a city famous for being a departure point for West Africans who were kidnapped and trafficked into slavery, as well as a home for repatriated slaves in the 18th century. Addressed to his daughter, Julianknxx’s 2020 visual poem, “In Praise of Still Boys”, burrows into this broader history as well as the poet and artist’s own past. This tendency to infuse the present moment with the weight of the past and of inherited memories has become a defining characteristic for the poet.

Although Julianknxx is still foremost a poet, his recent move into visual arts and filmmaking has helped bring his craft to a wider audience; including appearances at Prada Mode, the fashion house’s exclusive members’ only club, and a solo exhibition at London’s 108 The Strand. The poet and artist’s success across the literary, art and fashion worlds has led him to open his own studio, STUDIOKNXX, which will take on a major curatorial project next spring, Black Corporeal: The Breathing House

Text Katie Goh

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