Saturday, December 22, 2007
"Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome some day"
2007 comes to an end, an eventful year for me. Travel and back home. Finally a publication for me, in JPG Magazine which just made my whole year and this whole Klein Karoo series worthwhile!
South Africa heads into a new era with new leaders, we hope that change will benefit ALL our people!
This image, Sophia, taken almost two years ago of two little boys from the Klein Karoo singing in the street, is probaly my favourite image of all.
I called the image Sophia because it reminded me of the singers in Sophiatown (Soweto) so long ago and it also shows such emotion, hope and love.
I pray that 2008 will bring peace to all of us.
Thank you to the People Of The Klein Karoo.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
"Peace is always beautiful"
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)Leaves of Grass
This little girl is "Beetjie, six years old, sister of Selwyn and daughter of Annie. She has a delightful character and is truly a positive child, a happy child.
She loves flowers and will often pick them when I take pictures of her and then decide her own poses. On one occasion she even decided to eat them, she has a wonderful sense of humour!
Even though she does not live in the village anymore she occasionally visits and is only too happy to see me and do all her poses for the camera. She loves to sing and dance and I will always have a picture in my mind of this little girl running along the fence at dusk singing "Shosholoza".
I expect Beetjie will grow up to be a famous actress or singer, I have no doubt she has the confidence and talent!
Leandra, Beetjie...Little Flower...
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Emancipate yourself from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds.
I have always been influenced by Roger Ballen's work, especially his backgrounds. In this photograph of Lundy Jumats I noticed the plugs on the wall and the rough paint strokes. The wires and Lundy's expression.
I liked the "rawness" of the image. I find today's photography, especially in digital work almost too glossy and perfect and whilst I work in the digital medium, I still prefer the traditional look of film photography. With photoshop, I can almost achieve that effect.
In my work I also like to show the rough backgrounds so as to see the environment in which these folks live, perhaps , with the simple inclusion of the plug box and the texture of the walls. Of course, the most important is the subjects expression or emotion which can make the whole photograph.
With photoshop in this image I used the gradient map option many times to create darkness and light and then sharpened the textures. I deliberately darkened most of the one side of Lundy's face as I think it made more impact.
Lundy Jumats - 18 years old.
Friday, July 13, 2007
"In a gentle way, you can shake the world"
Hendrik, the "Oupa" (Grandfather) of the village. A gentleman, a man of great faith and love. Always the children in his home, his gentle advice and guidance alongside him his beloved wife, Maria. A music lover, a confidante, a father, grandfather, and husband...a friend.
Hendrik is the first person I met amongst these folk of "Rooi Rivier" farm and I often spend time in their little home just chatting. he knows the history of all the family's here and if there is ever a book, he will help me write about the folks. Hendrik recently had a stroke but is recovering well and is strong.
It's good to be home..but I also wish to thank the people of Australia for being so kind and welcoming to me, especially my family...
In the meantime, I carry on my Klein Karoo Series and learn more about these gentle people and hopefully I can capture them as they really are in my documentary series.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right.
It's Thursday the 24th May and I am leaving to go back home on the 9th of June. I had intended to try and emigrate to Australia as so many South Africans do these days. I always knew deep in my heart that it was not what I really wanted but I needed to give it a "fair go" as they say and I have. I discovered that I can't leave Africa , it is in my soul and in my heart.
I took this photograph just before I left, late afternoon, the sun shining brightly through the small window in Maria's bedroom, the shadows and light, the boys of Red River farm, Mark and Selwyn...My Mum told the kids the other day that I was coming home and they never thought that I wasn't!
Sometimes you need to leave home to discover that you really were at home all along. Life's experiences continue to help me grow and appreciate what is right in front of my eyes. The magical light of Africa which is so part of my photography and my life, even as I will continue to travel, that is where I will return and the truth is, it's all right.......
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Poverty won't allow him to lift up his head; dignity won't allow him to bow it down. Madagasy Proverb
Johannes Stuurman, illiterate, alone and one of the finest gentlemen I have ever had the honour to meet. Most of his family has died violent deaths, now he has Marta, his partner and his extended "adopted" family. His own son was murdered in front of him in a brawl right there where I took this picture and last year his brother was stabbed to death. He has a garden and he would bring me plants and I would give him "twak" (tobacco). He always took time for me and I have hundreds of photographs of him. I spent hours just talking to him. He is only about 54.
I can picture him now setting off at sunrise collecting the firewood, tipping his hat to me and slowly making his way back home, with the wood piled on top of his head. His frail body, but his strength is his kindness and always , dignity..."It Will Not Cry"
Friday, March 30, 2007
Hold a true friend with both your hands. ~Nigerian Proverb
Selwyn Elna and Mark Jumats. Selwyn (or Selvin as some spelled his name), is Annies son and Mark is his cousin. They are the best of friends. Mark is slightly older and takes on a protective role over Selwyn. Both are very gentle boys. I took this picture in their Grandmothers home. They spend a lot of time at the house as their Grandparents are a huge influence on their lives. That day I took a number of shots of them just posing in the bedroom and called them the Maria's Bedroom series. It was summer and very hot, the lads basically just run around in their underwear, often the little girls too. Even as kids my sisters and I did the same thing in Zimbabwe.
Selwyn didn't move away with his Mother, Annie, he preferred to live with his Grandfather and still stays in this little village behind our home. He is a quiet lad and does not say much. He loved his photograph being taken though and was not at all shy. He always told me he wanted to be either a Policeman or a rugby player.
Mark and Selwyn, true friends, friends for life.