Journal

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.

““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.

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 (fourteen)

Travel highlights this week included taking the car to the garage for a check up after weeks of sitting idly in the car park. A second trip out was to the local Household Recycling Centre. I kept tripping over the old hoover in the hall after it blew up a few weeks ago and it had to go. I’ve also been doing my civic duty (ahem) and went shopping online with a £100 M&S voucher (courtesy of my new broadband supplier, a gift for switching, thank you!).

Small potatoes you might be thinking but actually it’s a start in my coming-out-of-lockdown process, and it felt good to be doing something normal again. Venturing out it’s clear that despite people’s attempts to appear upbeat, we’re all a little jumpy. In the UK the hospitality sector is scheduled to reopen on 4 July but the worldwide news is troubling. Fresh outbreaks of the virus in many destinations has meant reapplying the brakes. Staying at home forever isn’t an option, however, and this week I feel the need to make a bid for freedom, however tentative the initial steps.

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This week… under lockdown (thirteen)

Another interesting week in the new social landscape. I’ve been under lockdown solo since it all began and this week a PPE-clad engineer came to carry out the annual boiler service, the first person to enter my apartment since March. He seemed as nervous as I was. I also spent four days without internet connection, so this visit was quickly followed by another engineer to fix the broadband. I began to wonder how on earth people coped during the Black Death. While they didn’t have to concern themselves with luxuries like running hot water and internet connection in the 14th century, there must be many similarities to today’s pandemic.

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This week… under lockdown (twelve)

First prize for trends this week goes to Bubble Tourism. It seems to be popping up everywhere. It’s likely that, in our quest to avoid busy airports and crowded planes, we will be looking to ‘travel alone, together.’ It’s all sounding very SciFi. Beam me up, Scotty.

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This week … under lockdown (eleven)

I’ve tried meditation, virtual festivals, coffee mornings and yoga. I’ve brushed up my social media skills with online training and travelled to Slovakian green pastures courtesy of Zoom. Most days I feel I’m getting a handle on the world. This week though has been a humdinger. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry any more.

In the words of Simon Evans, writer and director STAGED BBC1, “If the world is going to end, get on and do it. I’ve had enough of this f**king teasing”. @SimonEvans25

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