In 2016, the Natural History Museum of London ran its annual Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and the winner was none other than a local resident of Redbridge. Just 16 years of age at the time, Gideon Knight triumphed over thousands of international entrants and was awarded this highly prestigious award, often referred to as the ‘Oscars of wildlife photography’.
Throughout October, Valentines Mansion will host a special exhibition, featuring not only the winning image, but a selection of Gideon’s favourite images of wildlife, all taken in our very own Valentines Park.
The strikingly beautiful winning photo, “The Moon and the Crow” was taken on a cold January, whilst Gideon was shooting by the lake which had frozen over, when he was struck by the beauty of a carrion crow, perched among the spindly branches of a sycamore, and silhouetted by an almost full moon rising through the blue twilight. Gideon was quick to capture the sight, which led to him bagging this prestigious award.
“I’ve been taking images since a young age, but it wasn’t until I was about eleven that I started photographing wildlife. It all began for me as a method of recording the birds I’d see in my garden and has led from there into a medium for artistic expression and a way to convey to people the beauty of the natural world.” comments Gideon.
The prestigious title has opened many new doors for Gideon, with him being featured in several magazines, including the Amateur Photographer.
“The competition has opened new doors for me and should lead to some exciting opportunities in the future.”
The exhibition in the Mansions’ Gallery will be open every Sunday and Tuesday between 1 and 31 October, with free entry to visitors. The display also includes a special collaboration with studio artist Amanda Seljubac, who’ll be re-creating the winning photograph as a fused glass lightbox. “I’m thrilled to be working on this project supporting a local young local talent. Gideon’s image is breath taking, and the colours and style are the perfect combination to be fused on to glass.” said Amanda.
Gideon went on to say “I grew up in Ilford, and over the last six years Valentines Park has been the place I’ve done most of my photography. To have my work displayed here is a great honour, and I hope that it encourages people to notice and appreciate the wildlife of the park.”
Valentines Mansion is proud to be supporting another local talent and promoting and highlighting their work and achievements, not only locally, but to a much wider community. Gideon is exceptionally gifted, and we are honoured and proud to have his outstanding work on display in our Gallery. As soon as we discovered Gideon had been awarded this very prestigious prize, we contacted him with a keen interest in working together, as we knew his story would be an inspiration to many, and we are pleased to have been able to assist him in reaching an audience that are sure to love his work.
Wildlife of Valentines, 1 – 31 October (Tuesdays and Sundays), free entry.