2019 - Ongoing
Shifting Landmarks, documents my shift in geographical focus from South Africa to the USA. Following 30 years of intense engagement with the process of change within South Africa, I have chosen to explore the American social and political landscape. This selection of photographs traces various themes of this photographic path, highlighting the contrasts and parallels that have emerged.
During the past thirty years, I have produced essays that highlight South Africa’s passage from the trauma of apartheid into a period of hope for Nelson Mandela’s Rainbow Nation, followed by the slow decline towards a failed state. Within my personal work, I have attempted to draw attention to societal fault lines, while simultaneously probing the photographic medium and its capacity to communicate feelings and ideas.
Although I was raised in South Africa, I was immersed in the American popular culture and ideology of the 1960s and 1970s. My youthful dreams were enmeshed with the American Dream and the photographs that defined it.
I have produced two USA-based bodies of work in recent years, both of which have received highly positive recognition.
In 2019 I embarked on a journey in order to compare my youthful perceptions of the USA with his personal experience. The resulting photographs make up the essay, America Revisited. It received an honorable mention at the ICP Awards.
Diverging Dreamlines (2016) was chosen as "best of show" in the annual photobook competition organized by the Griffin Museum of Photography (Massachusetts).
The deaths of two major figures in my life, led to my decision to transfer my focus to the USA. My friend and mentor, David Goldblatt, passed away in late 2018 and Nelson Mandela passed away five years earlier. Both of these figures inspired hope for the future of South Africa and a passion to be involved in it’s transformation. Working for Reuters News Agency in the early 1990s, I photographed Mandela walking out of the Victor Verster Prison gates after 27 years of incarceration. Unfortunately, since his death in 2013 the country’s potential has been undermined by corruption, poverty and crime.
I felt that is was an opportune time to unravel the Gordian knot of photographic influences that have shaped my visual identity and reassess my photographic DNA.