PHOTO 2024: Kyle Archie Knight

Interview by Bianka Covic
Photography by Kyle Archie Knight

Melbourne Milieu talks to queer Indigenous photographic artist Kyle Archie Knight whose work graces the cover of Edition 17 of Melbourne Milieu. Kyle is also part of the CCP Creative Residency Program supported by Milieu.

Kyle talks to the ideation, and creation of 'Cruising for a Bruising' and the PHOTO 2024 theme The Future is Shaped by Those Who Can See.

(Untitled) from the series 'Cruising for a Bruising' by Kyle Archie Knight

Hi Kyle, tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and what led you to photography?

I am a queer Indigenous photographic artist. Through my photographic research, I am very interested in how a Camp vision can be utilised to transform humdrum suburbia. I also like to dabble in video work as well as Polaroids, poetry, and writing. Photographic academia is very fascinating to me. I have always loved photography, even as a child I felt a connection to it and growing up I loved (and still do) being able to look at my family’s photo albums and see significant events captured, as well as insignificant everyday moments, immortalised on film. To be able to hold tangible moments from the lives of the people who
mean the most to me holds great significance.

Congratulations on the New Photographers exhibition! Talk to us about the story, ideation and creation of your work?

Thank you! The work I have in the New Photographers exhibition is from my series, 'Cruising for a Bruising', which was published last year as my debut photobook. The series originally started as a little fashion magazine I was crafting for a university class, where I had my queer friends modelling against mundane suburban backdrops, somewhat critiquing my everyday surroundings. It wasn’t until the following year in my Honours degree that I started working on it again, post lockdown(s) and my supervisor suggested looking into Camp studies, and that perhaps at the heart of my series was my love for the suburbs. I was fascinated by this suggestion and instantly felt that I could synthesize what I was trying to say by making the work. So, I have continued to make it from its proper creation in 2022 and am still very intrigued by my initial research on Camp studies, as well as suburban studies and queer studies such as cruising. I like to use symbolism, queer imagery, and saturated colours and flash to queer and subvert the typical heterosexual landscape that is the mainstream idea of the suburbs.

What does the PHOTO 2024 theme The Future Is Shaped by Those Who Can See It mean to you or how does it relate to your exhibited works?

I think that notably the future, but also the present, and past are all intertwined in my series 'Cruising for a Bruising'. With my series, I began thinking about my upbringing in the Northern suburbs of Naarm/Melbourne, and when I started taking photographs of my fiancé for the series, I suppose I was looking to the future. It’s funny, 'Cruising for a Bruising' deals with ‘past’ attitudes of homophobia that still permeate suburbia while simultaneously celebrating and embracing the queerness that has always existed in suburbia that popular culture would have you believe otherwise. Within my series, I include archival family photos of my suburban upbringing and merge them with my own Camp photographs of suburbia, as well as portraits of my fiancé in suburban places I grew up in, bringing together the past, present and impending future.

What’s more important to you, the influence of people or the influence of place?

Great question, it’s a hard one to answer. I don’t think the two can be separated so easily, and not in my case. The influence of people has influenced me just as much as the importance of a place. My work usually is inspired by both, either a person or place that holds great personal importance to me. So, I would have to say for me both would be equally important as they influence each other directly.

When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

I am a huge bookworm and film buff! I love to read books in the sun with my cat next to me and watch films with my fiancé. Writing reviews on either is very fun to me too, I can be very opinionated.

Lastly, what are you working on next and where can people follow you for more.

This year I'm part of the CCP Creative Residency program sponsored by Milieu and I am currently planning to create new photographs for my series 'Cruising for a Bruising', which I hope to present in my first solo show that I’m aiming to produce and exhibit in the coming year… if all goes according to plan.

My Instagram is @kylearchieknight, and you can see more of my work and practice at

Kyle Archie Knight PHOTO 2024 Events
01 March - 24 March

New Photographers 2024 Exhibition
Daine Singer
83 Weston Street, Brunswick
Wed – Fri, 12pm – 5pm
Sat, 12pm – 4pm

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