The inspiring work of well-known local photographer, Paul van Schalkwyk, will at last be exhibited at the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre in Windhoek as from October 2.
In 2004, Paul embarked on a new journey in his photographic endeavors, concentrating on aerial landscape photography, generating a unique style and approach within this genre.
From his soaring perspective, the landscape of Namibia that has inspired him throughout his life has taken on a new vivacity of its own. Far from conservative documentations of specific scenes or places, the harsh contrasts, extraordinary colors and rich textures in these images truly invoke a feeling of awe in the viewer.
Paul roams the skies in his two-seater light aircraft, enabling him to fashion what is best described as aerial photographic art.
Curator, Jackie Ruth Murray who has collaborated closely with Paul over the past year has designed a multimedia installation comprising high quality Dibond prints, a 2min video loop, back-lit textual transcript panels juxtaposing quotes with factual information, and physical assemblages from Paul’s aircrafts.
The project is a narrative spanning 10 years of Paul’s quest for a pristine land: a chronicle that has ironically thrust him into a dilemma from which he cannot escape. His yearning to seek out the unblemished, to photograph it and to share it has become a double-edged act of admiration and interruption.
In physics, the term “observer effect” refers to changes that the act of observation has on the phenomenon of being observed. With the modern world’s impulse to travel and consequent obsession to photograph the land that is seen, we come to question our own act of visual detection and what this in turn means for the livelihood of that very land which we so seemingly admire.
The show presents the viewer with a multi-faceted experience of familiar and unfamiliar landscape locations, which prompt a fascination with the aesthetic of an aerial viewpoint with its ability to see the unseen. It simultaneously probes one’s own association with the land and how our voyager meanderings come to take effect. It points to wider issues of climate change and is thus as much to do with our need to reassess our relationship with the planet as it is to do with our observation of it.
Renowned South African art critic and writer, Alexandra Dodd, will open the show on the 2nd of October at 19h00.
The exhibition runs from 2ND OF OCTOBER TO 2 NOVEMBER 2013
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