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Award winning young Ilford nature photographer holding special exhibition in Valentines Mansion

PUBLISHED: 16:16 05 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:16 05 October 2017

Gideon Knight pictured with his photography exhibition. Gideon Knight and Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Linda Huggett. Picture: Melissa Page

Gideon Knight pictured with his photography exhibition. Gideon Knight and Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Linda Huggett. Picture: Melissa Page

Archant

A 17-year-old from Ilford, who won the prestigious 2016 RSPCA Young Wildlife Photographer Award, is exhibiting his work this month in Valentines Mansion.

Gideon Knight's photography exhibition in Valentines Mansion. Picture: Melissa PageGideon Knight's photography exhibition in Valentines Mansion. Picture: Melissa Page

Gideon Knight, of Empress Avenue, who has had his work showcased at the world-renowned Natural History Museum, will feature it at Grade II listed building, off Emerson Road.

At first glance of Gideon’s photography, you could be forgiven for thinking that such images could only be captured in a vast, rural nature reserve.

However he finds his photographic subjects in Ilford’s Valentines Park.

His images convey depth, striking contrasts of colour and breathtaking natural beauty.

Gideon Knight's photography exhibition in Valentines Mansion. Picture: Melissa PageGideon Knight's photography exhibition in Valentines Mansion. Picture: Melissa Page

But Gideon is not only commendable for the unquestionable artistic value of his work.

His tenacity and perseverance have served him well – in achieving the perfect shot, and also in achieving recognition.

Many hours are spent roaming and photographing before the perfect scene manifests, and it took him four years of photo submissions until his stunning image of a crow silhouetted by moonlight won him the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award.

“It was the result of several evenings spent wandering around the park. When I saw the crow and the colour of the sky – it felt kind of like a fairytale,” he said.

Gideon Knight's photography exhibition in Valentines Mansion. Picture: Melissa PageGideon Knight's photography exhibition in Valentines Mansion. Picture: Melissa Page

Being able to transform a passion into a potential career is an exciting prospect for the Ilford teenager.

“I’ve been taking photographs since I was seven years old, but it wasn’t until I turned eleven that I began photographing wildlife,” he said.

“Ideally, I would like to visit Africa, and take pictures of the big cats there.”

The exhibition in the mansion’s gallery will be open every Sunday and Tuesday between 1 and 31 October, with free entry to visitors.

Twelve of Gideon’s images will be on display and it also includes a special collaboration with studio artist Amanda Seljubac, who will be recreating the winning photograph as a fused glass lightbox.

The teenager, who is currently studying science at college, is eager to share his work with the community.

“I would like to thank everyone that has supported me and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”


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