This exhibition showcases renowned British fashion photographer Nick Knight’s series of still life photographs of roses.
Nick Knight has had a hugely successful four-decade career as a fashion photographer, where he consistently experimented, pushed boundaries and challenged our notions of photography. Alongside this he has also created a series of still life photographs that take the classic rose as their subject but express it in ways that are new. The resulting series have seldom been exhibited or published.
Two distinct series of works are on display at Waddesdon Manor: Roses from My Garden and Rose Photo Paintings. Both are inspired by Knight’s fascination with nature in general, and more specifically with roses. Roses from My Garden has roots in the work of 16th and 17th-century still life painters like Jan Brueghel the Elder and Jan van Huysum. However Knight’s large-scale works have a highly modern look, dramatizing the transient nature of beauty.
For Rose Photo Paintings, Knight’s interest lay in literally blurring the boundaries between painting and photography. Classical arrangements were photographed and printed onto non-absorbent paper, producing an image in liquid paint that was encouraged to freely move in whatever manner Knight desired. This dynamic and physical process was then taken a step further by entering a steam room to infuse the ink with water. The resulting works are hybrids; literally part photograph, part painting.