By Elzanne Erasmus
The Namibian National Symphony Orchestra and Choir stunned audiences this past weekend with their performance of Haydn’s “The Creation” in tribute to late photographer Paul van Schalkwyk. Under the leadership of conductor Alexander Fokkens and choir conductor Evy George, the performance brought audience members to tears. The use of some of Paul van Schalkwyk’s most legendary photos of Namibia as backdrop gave Haydn’s work, which was originally written in German, a powerful nostalgic effect that made it all the more special for Namibian audiences.
Van Schalkwyk was once quoted as saying:
“Photography as an art is not about taking pictures. It is not a monologue. To capture true beauty you have to allow enough time for yourself to know your subject and for your subject to know you. It is always a dialogue. You have to become part of the process and the process must become part of you. It is like a meditation – you have to transcend before you can see.”
Van Schalkwyk and Haydn’s art complemented each other spectacularly and created that perfect dialogue. Listening to Haydn’s story of the creation and absorbing van Schalkwyk’s tremendous ability to capture Namibian landscapes, nature and people like no other, makes one marvel at the beauty of our country and wonder whether Namibia isn’t in fact the cradle of life after all…
You can discover more of Paul van Schalkwyk’s photography at www.tala.com.na and www.paulvans.com