The exhibition of photographs by Nick Knight at Waddesdon is now open! World renowned fashion photographer Nick Knight shows some of his rarely exhibited work at the Coach House Gallery at the Stables, Waddesdon but instead of his trademark couturier catwalk shots the display is a series of intense dream-like still life images of roses.
Over the last few years Knight would frequently cut open roses from his garden, arrange on the kitchen table, and, with only daylight as illumination, snap them on his iPhone, then add filters and post on social media The digital representations showing the flowers in full bloom, with many at the point of losing their petals, have a painterly effect akin to seventeenth-century vanitas paintings (vanitas paintings always included some reference to man’s mortality from a human skull to burning candles and decaying flowers and reminded people that although death is inevitable, beauty should be enjoyed and contemplated.)
Born in London in 1958, Knight studied photography at Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Design and graduated with a distinction in 1982. He has worked with leading fashion designers from Westwood to Dior an YSL, shooting their collections for both editorial and advertising as well as record sleeve artwork for top recording artists and directing award winning videos for Bjork, Lady Gaga and Kanye West. He received an OBE in 2010 for his contribution to the arts.
Knight has long been pushing boundaries in his craft, experimenting more and more with new technology in recent years, He no longer considers himself a photographer but an ‘image maker’, constantly working outside conventional photographic parameters and using processes like 3D scanning and virtual reality. With ‘Roses from my Garden’ the digital images are enlarged and filtered through software that uses Artificial Intelligence to fill the gaps between pixels and increase the resolution. The result is a unique, contemporary, almost surreal, look with neither the grain of a photograph or brushmarks of a painting and the subject matter cleverly underlines the timelessness of nature.
Waddesdon is the perfect venue for this exhibition as the works echo their surroundings and especially complement the Victorian garden, created by four generations of the Rothschild family who were passionate about horticulture, and in particular, the rose. They also link to the 18th-century Sèvres porcelain with flower paintings collection in the house.
“I am delighted that Lord Rothschild has invited me to exhibit at Waddesdon.” says Knight, “It is not only one of the country’s finest and most beautiful estates, but with its commitment to canonical and contemporary art it seems the perfect place to show my series ‘Roses from my Garden’ which references the rich history of classical painting whilst also looking towards the exciting world of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.”
Main Image: Nick Knight Saturday 20th May, 2017 Hand-coated pigment print © Nick Knight Courtesy of the Artist
Roses from my Garden, Coach House Gallery at the Stables
Open 11am-5pm, Wednesday-Sunday
Coach House Gallery, The Stables, Waddesdon HP18 0JH
Exhibition admission is included free with all Waddesdon Grounds tickets
All visitors must pre-book tickets online https://waddesdon.seetickets.com/timeslots/waddesdon-grounds
Admission free for National Trust, Art Fund and RHS members and under-5s
Notes on visiting post-lockdown
Caps on daily visitor numbers, timed entry slots for arrival and shuttle buses and other social distancing measures are in place in order to protect the health of visitors, staff and volunteers.
Please see https://waddesdon.org.uk/planning-your-visit/ for details of revised walking routes to/from the car park, location of toilets, take away food outlets and the shop.
The house, wine cellars and indoor restaurant and cafe are not yet open