I am a self taught photographer whose first camera, a Zeiss Ikon, was 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.
I have pursued my passion for photography since taking early retirement in 2016 from my career as a Geography academic. 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 2018 highlight was winning the WESSA Heritage Day Photo Competition with the nature photograph ‘Oldenburgia’. My work has been featured in travel and coffee table magazines and social media and my images are regularly used by the print news media. I produced my first photo-book ‘Symmetry in Nature’ in 2015 and I have designed a number of book covers and web sites. The international anthology ‘For Rhino in a Shrinking World’ is a good example (https://rhinoanthology.wordpress.com/).
In 2020 I started a new initiative with poet Harry Owen. In Tandem is the poetry to imagery collaboration we launched 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 and the video concept and edit was by me. To our great surprise this piece won a Standard Bank Ovation Award for innovation and excellence. Our two other poems – Aorta and Bots Aloes – were also recognised by being selected for the main programme of the National Arts Festival.My conceptual photography uses mirroring and merging of layers to explore patterns, motifs and the feminine in nature. The Symmetry Series 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 October 2020 I started a second Instagram page (@roddythefox.fantasyart) that showcases these ideas.