Thursday, 29 January 2015
Sunday, 11 January 2015
Zambian-born John Robinson has been focusing on the world through his camera lens as a social documentary photographer for 18 years, picturing aspects of life in Sub-Saharan Africa. He captures some of the ‘goings on’ of people in a series of portraits taken along the South Beach beachfront of Durban. He documents his subjects against the ebb and flow of the ever-changing sand and sea.
In this work he has gone back to using black and white film, rather than digital. John takes photographs with a small rangefinder camera instead of the larger DSLR camera. He feels that this makes him, as a photographer, less ‘visible’ and keeps him more humanly ‘in touch’ with his subject. Photographing with an analogue camera he feels less tethered to technology and more free to just take pictures of ‘what is’.
John Robinson is a social documentary photographer and stroke survivor living in South Africa, these are his own words and images.
South Beach is a part of the City of Durban’s longest uninterrupted stretch of beach sand. The City of Durban is on the eastern seaboard of South Africa and the people here are washed with the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. To the north of this stretch of sand are beaches with cafe society hang outs. To the south there is a pier with the upmarket Moyo’s Restaurant at it’s end and the uShaka Marine World complex and the private surf and sea clubs of the Vetches Beach area. Between these northern and southern affluent areas lies this long uninterrupted and relatively undeveloped stretch of beach sand. It’s along this beach that some of the ‘scatterlings’ of Africa come to be alone, sleep, pray, walk, swim, surf, work, commune with another, or just the sea sand and water.
Closes on 14 February at 2p.m.
This exhibition is predominately about asking Questions, not making Statements. It is taking a look at the everyday scenes around us that, when viewed in a critical light, show up the complex relationship between humanity and nature. What is humanity’s underlying nature - what’s below the façade? Where does our drive evolve from? Is it simply extended evolution or are we a revolution of natural principles? What is this drive away from nature and toward separation? Could it be a distorted spiritual yearning, or is it just a simple mutation of Maslow’s* hierarchy? Are our drives to create and control inseparable, or are these two distinct behaviours emanating from polar sources? In paying attention to the stark reality of human impact on this once apparently pristine planet, it seems obvious that these questions are begging an answer. Yet, within all this impact lies immense creativity! What are we to make of this paradox and where will it all lead? It seems absurd to think that we may stay so focused on the mundane complexities of controlling our survival and comfort while expressing our creativity, that we will miss the ‘big picture’ and simply run ourselves into the ‘earth’!? Yet, there appears to be little evidence that our long and established trajectory is likely to change any time soon? Do we keep asking questions, or will we have the courage to face some ‘real’ answers?
*Abraham Harold Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970)
An American psychologist best known for creating Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization.
Kevern Sandalls Bio
Kevern began his photographic career in 1988 with freelance work for the newspapers and assisting prominent professional advertising photographers. After studying photography at Technikon Natal, he began touring Southern Africa as a Nature Guide and Fine Art Photographer in1993. His combining of these two fields of skill has allowed him to travel and photograph extensively throughout much of the remote and beautiful landscapes on this subcontinent. He is presently building an ‘off the grid’ home in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands, and intends to continue exploring the realms of creative and physical expression in commune with nature.