I have pursued my passion for photography since taking early retirement in 2016 from my career as a Geography academic. I guess you’d now call me a semi-professional photographer though I still use my teaching skills for the on-line photo-editing courses I run. My first camera was a Zeiss Ikon, bought in 1974 from a second hand dealer in Glasgow. Today I am a big fan of the Olympus Micro Four Thirds mirrorless system.
My landscape photography is about light, often at low angles: forests, mist and clouds, townscapes, the night sky and lightning. I also take nature photographs – often bird sequences – using overlay techniques. You’ll find plenty of examples in my Instagram gallery (@roddythefox). The Room of Dreams virtual exhibition at the National Arts Festival in 2022 showcases my nature and landscape photography. It has 57 photographic images with one theme for each wall: the Lockdown Sunbirds; the King Proteas; the Cloud Abstracts and the Lockdown Landscapes. The images were taken through the two year lockdown period beginning in March 2020 and reflect both my restricted arc of movement and the seasonal changes that took place in the Eastern Cape. The exhibition’s inspiration comes from this verse in my bedside copy of the Tao te Ching: Distant mountains, brilliant green. Within the house, a room of dreams.
My Visionary Art started with mirroring and merging of layers to explore patterns, motifs and the feminine in nature. The Symmetry Series, for example, are mirrored motifs created from images of trees, aloes, grass and sky. Where I have gone further, and projected a motif on to a female model, this allows for exploring the feminine form as it merges with, and emerges from, nature. In 2022 the Set Your Life on Fire exhibition with Meagen Swain is the culmination of a two year collaboration. Each artwork takes its cue from Meagen’s expressive nude posing style that’s merged with the fractals, mandalas and nature imagery I’ve created. The overlays use solarisation extensively – a technique that produces negative colour images – to find the vivid colours of the life on fire that Rumi writes of: Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you. Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion. Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.
In Tandem is the poetry to imagery collaboration that Harry Owen and I launched in 2020 to take our work on to a virtual platform in response to the Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa. The best example is Lord of Life that we submitted to South Africa’s Virtual National Arts Festival. It was read by Harry Owen with artworks by Sally Scott. The video concept and editing was my contribution.
I’ve had four solo exhibitions on the Fringe at South Africa’s National Arts Festival – it’s held in my home town, Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown). My work has also been featured in travel and coffee table magazines and books. In social media the print news media regularly request my images. I designed my first photo-book Symmetry in Nature in 2015 and in December 2020 I produced a limited edition photo-book called Rhinos for The Grahamstown Project. The international anthology ‘For Rhino in a Shrinking World’ is a good early example of one of the web-sites that I’ve developed.
There’s an online store (https://www.roddyfox.photography/) where you can buy my work as downloads, prints and keepsakes for shipping globally. I print on demand for South African clients, sell image rights, design websites and book layouts. I’m also available for portrait and fine art commissions.
Winner of the 2018 WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) Heritage Day Photo Competition with the nature photograph Oldenburgia.
Lord of Life was winner of a Standard Bank Ovation Award for innovation and excellence at the 2020 National Arts Festival Fringe.
#IAMMAKANA 2022 third place winner with the image ‘Donkey Mural at the Cock House.’
Winner of the 2022 Hunters of Light Black and White theme with the image ‘Amethyst Sunbird in Aerial Ballet.’
Roddy Fox Photography, 1 Robinson Street, Grahamstown 6139, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)722582134