Nick Knight’s “Unreal, Surreal” Roses Are Going on Display Again

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Nick Knight Roses Albion Barn Interview
Sunday 6th September, 2015, 2019Imagery courtesy Albion Barn, © Nick Knight

Among the lavish grounds of 19th-century home Waddesdon Manor, Knight’s AI-augmented series Roses from my Garden will go on show to the public in March

Nick Knight’s series Roses from my Garden draws from a storied tradition of depicting flowers in paintings and photographs. The acclaimed series, in which Knight photographs roses cut from his own garden on his iPhone and then runs the images through AI technology, was first exhibited last year in Oxfordshire, and will this year go on show at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire. 

Knight’s is a distinctly modern approach to photographing roses. The ongoing series sees the photographer make use of novel AI technology to “fill in the gaps” in his series, resulting in what AnOther’s Alexander Fury described as an “unreal, surreal look” to the images. “If you look closely, you can see weird, slightly glitchy things,” according to Knight. “When you get close, the texture is quite new. If you were looking at an old master, you’d get brushstrokes. If you were looking at a photograph you’d get grain. This is a new thing, a new visual language.” A recent Instagram post from Knight offers a glimpse at the “huge and beautiful rose prints” to be exhibited at Waddesdon soon.

Previously shown at Albion Barn, Roses from my Garden will fill Waddesdon’s Coach House gallery. The 19th-century National Trust house, itself surrounded by impressive gardens, was built by the Rothschild family and became known for its lavish rooms and opulent parties. 

Knight’s fashion photography has long appeared in the pages of magazines like AnOther, Another Man, Dazed, Vogue, i-D and W, and Roses from my Garden began as a personal project. “Normally I am very excited to work with people, in a team, but these are just solitary studies for me,” Knight told Fury last year, as the first exhibition was staged. “I try to do it every weekend. It’s meditative.” An earlier publication of Knight’s, Flora, compiled his photographs of plants and flowers in the Natural History Museum’s collection.

Nick Knight: Roses from my Garden will be at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, from March 28 – October 25, 2020.