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Snoek Fishing, False Bay, South Africa circa 1977

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Smithfields Meat Market

Rogan Coles

Smithfields Meat Market
Guest artist - March 2003

"In a sense, much of this work is like watching a kitten chasing after a fly that has landed nearby. Was that action as much deliberate as it was spontaneous? Every time I pick up a camera and take or make a picture, those same ponderables come to mind. Is this just another practice run for something bigger to come? How deliberate was my action, how spontaneous was my response? Did the cat do that because it was hungry or, was there more to it? Much the same purpose seems to prevail here in how I do my work. Seem to take the view, “its the moment that defines rather than one that is decisive that matters”. In much of my work, my personal work that is, it is quite deliberate and yet, most of it was done on the turn in that moment.
As an example, there is the image of the rural classroom. When I first peered into the room, I had all these shy and shining faces looking up at me - as a stranger in their midst. Yes, would have made nice picture but somehow it didn’t work and it wasn’t what I was looking for. Only when I walked into the back of the room did I find that picture. It was a picture of their environment I wanted - the teacher in the door, the black board on the floor, stones for chairs and the crumbling adobe wall. It wasn’t really about the people there. That I went on to do more photography at this location was neither here nor there..."

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Visit Rogan Coles' website

The photographer


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