There are 70 Heritage Sites in Grahamstown (recently renamed as Makhanda): mostly in the CBD, around the Rhodes campus and in Sunnyside. I’ve been photographing them as they are now but in an antique, or retro, style. So my sepia prints will have students enjoying a glass of wine on the walls of Fort Selwyn or you’ll see the mounds of uncollected rubbish along Bathurst Street. There might be donkey on the pavement in Church Square or Makana Revive at work filling the potholes outside The Cock House.
Grocott & Sherry street scene
Makana Revive at work outside The Cock House
10 Cross Street, Artificers’ Square
I’ve printed a small selection of eight views to be part of my exhibition Reflections at #NAF19. The first four are daytime shots. Bartholomew Streetscape and 10 Cross Street are both in the beautifully restored Artificers’ Square. The Grocott & Sherry street scene and view of the Cock House highlight two of the city’s most well known commercial buildings. You’ll see that although the sepia style and bleached look of the photo is old fashioned the content often has something contemporary.
Drostdy Arch by moonlight
Fort Selwyn Moonrise
Cathedral of St Michael and St George
St Barts by night
The four night shots were taken over recent months during the full moon. The moonrise, clouds and dark skies give an interesting backdrop to the pictures. Ironically, I have included the Cathedral (which isn’t a Heritage Site) but the Drostdy Arch, Fort Selwyn and St Barts are all part of the town’s military and ecclesiastical history.
Screenshot of the collection
This screenshot will give you an idea of the scope of this series of pictures. My photo exhibition Reflections has over 40 various images in different styles. The sepia prints make up one component but I would like to exhibit 25-30 of them next year. 2020 being the Bicentenary of the 1820 Settlers. The small selection at this year’s Arts Festival is their first public outing. You can see them at Johan Carinus Art Centre, Beaufort Street, for the duration of the National Arts Festival from June 27 to July 7.
Here’s something a little different – three different takes of Grahamstown’s iconic Cathedral of St Michael and St George. The first is in the antique sepia style I’ve been using for the Grahamstown heritage series. The second is the full colour by moonlight shot and the third is a multiple exposure fantasy. They are all taken from almost exactly the same spot – just outside Makana’s City Hall on the north side of Church Square.
Antique sepia shot of the Cathedral of St Michael and St George, Church Square, Grahamstown
Cathedral of St Michael and St George by moonlight, Church Square, Grahamstown
Church Square at Midnight, a fantasy: Grahamstown
You would think that the Cathedral would be a heritage site but it isn’t – though it certainly makes a dramatic impression towering over the centre of the city. As usual I’ve made sure that the antique heritage style contains modern elements: the flaring street lights and the security guards relaxing in the square.
The colour moonlight picture was taken when the full moon was highlighting the clouds above the spire. That gives the composition some nice depth and definition and I’ve bleached out the colours a little to give the picture more punch.
The fantasy picture is a multiple exposure. I used the wheeling star trails as the backdrop because the original picture had a lot of ugly coloured flares of light in the night sky caused by the streetlights. Then I decided to strip away some of the fabric of the Cathedral to make it look skeletal. The clock is stuck at midnight and I took the picture just before Halloween!
I’ve already sold one of these as a high gloss print (I can now print on demand up to A3+ size). Let me know using this contact me link if you’d like one. This new series will also be on sale (probably as unmounted prints) at #NAF19 in my exhibition called ‘Reflections’ at the Carinus Art Centre 27 June – 7 July.
Grahamstown’s well-known as ‘the city of Saints’. It’s a bit of a cliche and so are many of the photos of our city. Picture postcard shots of the imposing cathedral and Victorian shop facades in Church Square spring to mind. I thought I’d try and get something a little different that gave a bit more of the feel of the place and the different buildings. So here’s three black and white shots.
I like the Cathedral picture because it captures the scale of the building in its urban setting: the tree, wooden verandah and city hall make a frame for it.
The Dutch Reformed Church is another building I walk past regularly. The shadow in the foreground leads you up to the steeple and the sky above.
Lastly, there’s the Chapel of St. Mary’s on the Rhodes campus: it’s the rich texture that makes this picture, the slanting light and the dark sky behind.
There’s a nice selection of my Grahamstown pictures over at my online portal roddythefox.co.za.