So the UK is more or less out of lockdown. It feels weird. Or rather it’s a strange experience trying to revert back to life-as-usual. After over 100 days of lockdown the world has turned and it feels we’re like waking up in another dimension altogether. Stepping outside your front door and picking up where you left off simply isn’t an option. This week I visit the dentist for a check-up and the experience leaves me a little shaken, I have to admit.
Despite a careful process of masks, face shields, sanitiser and more, lying captive in the dentist’s chair with someone inches from my face, after weeks of isolaton, is a little scary. This is the new reality. We have reemerged from hibernation and the goal posts have moved. I wonder if Cinderella felt this way after 100 years of slumber?
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 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.
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.
““There 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.
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 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.
If someone had told you last year that you would have weeks at home to do whatever you liked you would probably have been delighted. But it’s not at all easy being shut in your home. Of course, I’m disapointed to miss out on all the trips I had planned, exhibition previews and so on but it’s the face to face contact with family and friends that I miss the most. In a climate of fear and panic in the first week of lockdown, I found it difficult to concentrate on anything, at all. This week I seem to have made a major adjustment.
If, like me, you enjoy snooping around great country houses, museums and galleries then social distancing needn’t stop you from exploring. Isn’t it true that as one door closes, another opens? While UK attractions are currently closed to the public many are opening their virtual doors. Now is the perfect time to take a personal tour of some of the best collections from the comfort of your armchair. Here’s a few of my top picks this week.
Andy Warhol (1928 to 1987) was the son of immigrants, a shy gay man who became a leading figure in the visual art movement. Warhol was born in 1928 as Andrew Warhola to working class parents from present day Slovakia. In 1949 he moved from Pittsburgh to New York. Initially working as a successful commercial illustrator, his skill at transforming the imagery of American culture soon developed as ground-breaking pop art.