From the lens of a Muizenberg resident whose lifelong alliance with photography took root in him at just seven years of age, comes an exploration and appreciation of our most precious resource: water.
Rather than the aspect of water which the current drought has everyone gripped in, Simon Septhon’s approach is one of seeing again, of looking again, and remembering to appreciate the aspects of water which its scarcity has robbed us of: its beauty.
As least half of the images in Simon’s latest exhibition have been taken in our backyard: on the slopes of the mountain, in Silvermine, above Muizenberg, in Kalk Bay.
Simon says he is often asked how much his images are photoshopped; and this is one of the gifts his work offers – a new perspective, a way of looking at the play of colours from the environment, on the the surface of what he calls our most connecting element. “We are mostly water, so it is water that connects us to each other, as well as our need for it,” he says. He hopes the immersion in his images will reconnect people to water in a way that will make us regard the value we place on it differently. “I think people are so saturated by numbers: 87 litres a day, dam levels, desalination.. all the crisis talk has separated us from the essence of water,” Simon says.
Simon’s images are a reminder of clear mountain streams, and the magic in the miniscule proportion of water, world-wide, which still flows that way.
And when the rains come again, Table Mountain will run silver streams, like music made material.
Simon’s photography could perhaps described as visual poems or odes to this element.
He hails from the Eastern Cape, and some of the images he has on display are from there too – and all of the images are from this year.
It is a work of love: of countless hours and homework well done, and many many kilometres mapped out on foot (with the help of his very happy dog, he says).
Simon has nurtured his photography through endless darkroom days, winning regional photographic awards in his school years and landing his first job as a 17-year-old darkroom assistant on The Star newspaper in Johannesburg.
His exploration of the mountains of the Cape peninsula coincided with the digital age and he soon developed a passion for capturing water. His work is found in private collections in South Africa, England, USA and Switzerland.
Simon will present the third instalment of his exhibition, Water Light 2017 at The Forge, 12 Windsor Road, Kalk Bay from Wednesday December 6 until Thursday December 21. The exhibition will be open daily from 9.30am to 5pm, including weekends.
The exhibition will be opened on Wednesday December 6 at 6pm by photographer and journalist Nicky Newman and water expert and geologist Rowena Hay, founder of Umvoto Africa.
Entry to the exhibition is free.
For directions to The Forge visit http://theforgekalkbay.withtank.com/directions/ For further information visit https://www.simonsephton.com/