This week… adjusting

This week my mind has been decidedly on food. I grew up eating fruit and vegetables my dad grew in the garden, supplemented by produce shared by the community. One person in the neighbourhood might have an abundance of Victoria plums and another a plentiful supply of rhubarb, and as children we were encouraged to fill our baskets. We gathered nuts and berries from hedgerows, collected windfall apples (while watching out for dozy wasps, drunk on fermented apple juice) and went scrumping for cherries (keeping an eye out for the irate farmer). I cannot recall where that last scavenge took place but in the spirit of making amends, I apologise. What can I say, I was only around seven or eight and the luscious, ruby red, low-hanging cherries were too much of a temptation.

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This week… adjusting

Although we’re no longer officially under national lockdown in the UK, life remains uncertain and unsettled, and it shows. One thing I’ve learnt from the past four months or so is that a routine is essential. If you let the days slide into personal anarchy you risk getting lost down the rabbit hole.

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Up close with Nick Knight: fashion photographer

Nick Knight, OBE is a fashion photographer extraordinaire. In fact, he no longer defines himself as a photographer but says he has become an image maker.

Knight’s new exhibition Roses From My Garden opens this Saturday 4 July in the gardens at the romantic Waddesdon Manor. The exhibition was due to open in March but was postponed due to the Coronavirus COIVD-19 pandemic.

Roses From My Garden features 16 stunning images of roses from Knight’s garden where he likes to walk, and cut the blooms to photograph in a unique way.

Nick Knight, British fashion photographer arranges roses at his kitchen table. Photo Irene Caswell via Zoom

Image making

Nick works in his kitchen to compose an organic arrangement until he is satisfied before taking photographs with his iPhone.

Much later, when the photos have been printed, he will mark any flaws with a china graph pencil, before working on them digitally with AI software, filtering and layering, to produce the most exquisite painterly-like images.

Nick Knight, OBE composes roses at home in Richmond. Photo Irene Caswell via Zoom.

Knight has worked with Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, and directed videos for Lady Gaga, and Kanye West. His fashion photography has a natural symbiosis with the natural world. I find some of these images of couture bring to mind the work of 19th century illustrators Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies and Arthur Rackham. I asked Nick via Zoom whether he’s influenced by the work of past artists.

“‚ÄúThere is beauty in everything, if we choose to see it.” Nick Knight, OBE.

When Knight first started taking photographs of roses he posted them on Instagram. People started ‘Liking’ them and he was offered an exhibition by Albion Barn.

Rose From My Garden. Photo Nick Knight, OBE.

iPhone is the new camera

“We’re all influenced by things we like. I prefer not to look back but forwards to the future, and new technology.” Nick Knight, British fashion photographer.

The fairytale Waddesdon Manor

You can read the full Up Close: Nick Knight, Roses From My Garden on Travel Begins At 40.

The Coach House Gallery, the Stables at Waddesdon Manor (Saturday 4 July until 25 October 2020). Entry times will be staggered to allow for distancing. Booking in advance is essential. Tickets can be booked online here.

This week …under lockdown (ten)

The world is beginning to awaken like Sleeping Beauty from what feels like a 100-year malicious spell, and life as we knew it has moved on. What are the new lifestyle trends and how will we adapt to a rebooted world?

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This week … under lockdown (six)

We’re entering week seven of lockdown here in the UK. There is a tentative feeling of hope in the air. It’s like we have all been holding our breath. Finally, we’re coming to the end of a long, dark tunnel and we can breathe out once again. We’re all anticipating the re-opening of the UK like excited children before Christmas.

As we await the government’s strategy for reemergence to be announced later this week, everyone is daring to plan their own exit from lockdown. Top of my list is being with family and, more daringingly, thinking about where I’ll be able to travel to, responsibly and safely.

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