Birmingham photographer Markel Knight's work is centred around places and emotions usually considered dark and to be avoided. Taking eire and desolate locations rarely seen by most of us, and capturing the surreal reclamation of nature. His enacting use of light removes the scary and dangerous stigma that often surrounds abandoned buildings. Instead he manages to create a sense of wonderment and sympathy for these neglected spaces.
Interview with the artist
How would you describe your work to someone you’ve just met on a night out?
I’d probably just say that it is Urban Exploration with class, minus the stereotypical HDR and without a criminal record, yet.
What are the biggest influences to your work?
My biggest influence for my work is Dark Tourism. Which is intentionally travelling to a country/ location, (which has a history with a incident that has had a negative effected peoples lives.) , e.g.; 9/11, Hiroshima and Chernobyl. Death and a darker personality has also helped my direction of documentation and current projects.
Tell us a bit about your latest project?
I’ve just got back from Ukraine, Pripyat following my project of documenting the remanences of Chernobyl 30 years later, which should be in exhibition soon, so watch this space, In the mean time I plan on carrying on my documentation of Dark locations across the world whilst I’m still studying my MA. Next stop France.
What is the one main thing you want people to think/feel when they look at your work?
I try any make my images as natural as possible, so if the location is dark, then I take a darker image. Then its up to the viewer on how they feel when they perceive it.
If you could have a portfolio review with anyone who would it be?
Steve McCurry, or Terry Richardson, just to ask how I could get into his line of work.
Use three emojis to sum up your work?
What was the last song you listened too?
Frank Ocean - Swim Good
Mariah Carey - Fantasy (I’m not even embarrassed).
A word you say all the time?
C**t is my worst habit, but I probably say, “say that again?” More than anything.
What can we buy you if we see you at the bar?
Corona or a pint of wife beater
Sweet or salty popcorn?
What animal would you describe your self as?
Some would probably describe me as a bear, because I’m big, brown and hairy (beard is now gone, so not as hairy). But I’d probably say I was more of a cat.
Reasons for this are; I’m mischievous, slightly tapped, and I’m always climbing things when I’m out, and then cry when I can’t get back down (I hate heights).