I'm a bit of a maverick, I truly believe that nothing is impossible, I know that everything has a solution, so I will go out to find the solution, and make things work. I started my creative career at the tender age of thirteen, making those awful macrame' which are now again coming back into vogue, I then went on to do sculpture, and also did the impossible I trained and performed in an equestrian display team, teaching and doing the voltige (gymnastics on horseback) At 22 I packed up everything and went to Europe, ended up in Iceland where I started my career in Fashion. I've worked as a fashion designer for the past 26 years, I still design for a few select clients and teach fashion design and the art of clothing production.
I am a born social worker, and have been a philanthropist all my life, spending the past 12 years running poverty alleviation projects on a full time basis, with everything else taking second place, and even though it's hard to find time to be an artist I juggle it rather successfully with my communiyty work. I have established a foundation which I run full time here in the village of Richmond, I set it up to help ease some of the terrible poverty in this area where unemployment is at 80% and the HIV infection rate at 40%, I read stories to the kids of the soup kitchen for an hour each day at the soup kitchen, and I am assisting with fundraising for the local school's feeding scheme. As I am still trying to raise the $250,000.00 dollars per annum for running the foundation.
Started photography 12 years ago, and as I'm getting older I'm not only discovering more about myself, but I'm starting to push the limits with my own creativity, trying very hard to get right out of the box and do things which most professional photographers would probably shy away from, but, I've decided that I want to be an art photographer and not a technical photoghrapher, did all the courses and training on the technichal aspects of photography only to find that I was shooting technically perfect pictures, but they had no artistic value at all, so I took the advice of a friend and colleague and went back to capturing the images that I saw.
For me photography is about capturing the essence of my subject, of finding the beauty hidden within, I want to capture an image which anyone would want to display with pride, I try to reach across to my subject with the projection of my lens, if I can touch and capture the moment or the emotion with heart, then I have succeeded. My photography is a part of me that will continue to grow and to evolve as I test the limits of my own creativity with each passing day, perhaps one day I will leave a part of my soul behind, in the heart of my pictures. People often think that as a photographer I just point my camera and push go, if only it were so, I always choose my subject, and sometimes I will shoot the same subject a thousand times before I get the shot I want, for example the local "Karretjies" (horse drawn carts with car tyres, that the local farming folk use) they are seen in the village on a daily basis, and they come cantering down the streets regularly, I have about a 160 good pictures of them, but still I haven't been able to capture, the emotion and movement of the subject that satisfies me to be an art-work, but I will eventually get the shot that I want. I also never shoot staged or posed pictures, as they tend to lack emotion.
I am a grandfather, who raised my grandson for the first 6 years of his life, and who turned eight this year, it was hard being a single grandparent, but such a joy seeing the world through the eyes of an innocent, had a lot of fun stimulating his creativity, he loves the camera, and I would always hold my breath when he got his hands on my camera and started taking pictures, (petrified that he'll drop it) I think I have some serious competition, as he takes some fabulous photographs, maybe I'll start a page for him one of these days!
I have started writing my first novel, although unless I can find 48 hours in a day, I'm not sure when I'll get to finish it.
I am running a literacy programme with the children of the soup kitchen, I have also recently started a centre of learning excellence to assist learners from the local schools with research projects.