Three Landmarks

One of the classic landmarks in Grahamstown is the Cathedral. It’s usually photographed either looking up or down High Street with its imposing steeple towering over the Victorian buildings of Church Square. Here it’s the central focus of the draft cover I produced for WESSA’s upcoming book on Grahamstown’s natural and cultural history. The Oldenburgia and Makana’s Kop are the other two landmarks you can see in the picture – it’s a merged overlay of the three. The Cathedral and Oldenburgia are previewed as separate pictures in my Grahamstown gallery at and they’ll be exhibited at the Johan Carinus Art Centre next week for the National Arts Festival.


Roddy is a self taught photographer whose first camera, a Zeiss Ikon, was bought in 1974 from a second hand dealer in Glasgow. Through the forty years since then, he's taken landscape photographs with Pentax, Olympus and FujiFilm systems for his teaching and research as a geography academic at Kenyatta and Rhodes Universities. He has always been inspired by great nature and landscape photographers such as Nick Brandt, Beth Moon, Obie Oberholzer and Hans Strand. Since taking early retirement he has been able to pursue his passion for photography, published a photobook ’Symmetry in Nature and held three solo exhibitions at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa. 

His landscape photography is about light: often at low angles, of forests, mist and clouds, the night sky and lightning. He prints on different media depending on the affects he wants to produce: brushed aluminium for reflecting angled light; Hahnemühle German Etching paper for soft diffusion; Ilford Metallic Gloss for vibrant night pictures.

His conceptual photography uses mirroring and merging of layers to explore patterns, motifs and the feminine in nature.