• Chris Snelling

    Chris Snelling
    • Artist Statement
      • In my “other life” as a heritage practitioner whilst primarily responsible for assessing significance of and the impact of development on our countries heritage resources, I am increasingly drawn to the documentation and recording of the significant built, cultural and natural landscapes of our country and the people who inhabit them.

        My profession dictates that I record the significance of places or structures: my photography allows me to express my understanding of its soul.

        My primary focus in this regard has been the southern areas of the Northern Cape and for the last few years have been documenting many of the structures and landscapes left and experienced by the first settlers in the region as well as capturing my current interpretation of the areas sense of place.

        I am particularly drawn to the landscape work of Ansel Adams and Mitch Dobrowner, the human intensity of the work of Roger Ballen, and am hugely captured by dark brooding skies.

    • Biography
      • Awards:

        International Photography Awards, (Lucie). 2012. Honourable Mention in portraits category.
        International Photography Awards, (Lucie). 2013. Honourable Mention in portraits category.
        Wiki Loves Monuments International finalist: 2012. (3rd Place in South Africa).
        Wiki Loves Monuments International finalist: 2013. (3rd place in South Africa).

    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        Roger Ballen’s work, (I do count him as South African inspite of his being born in the States), has always blown me away. His two ‘Platteland’ works were seminal for me, and the direction he is taking now with “Asylum of the Birds” takes the themes first encountered there even further and verges on the surreal: Disturbing, emotional and very very human.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?

        Probably Pierneef: For me his landscapes are incredibly simple, but very complex. One day when I am big I want to own one of his works.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

        I have no idea. I do however know what my ideal ‘ fantasy’ exhibition to visit would be though and that would be a walk around the various places in the UK where Banksie has done his ‘work’ and experience the spirit of the place and people within which his art and commentary cohabit.

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

        It’s all over the place. My ‘job’ takes me to a variety of places where there is always something new. I also have a small place in the middle of the Karoo. It is impossible not to be inspired by the vastness and quiet and strength of the land.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?

        I wish I could, but am unaware of any when I am busy shooting. I will however often return to a familiar setting or place I have photographed before to just sit within that environment and feel it more.

        What do you like most about being an artist?

        My favorite piece of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel work is the infinitesimally small bit of space between God’s and Adams fingers. Within that small bit of negative space lies the stillness and birth of creation. When I am really lucky, taking or working with a photograph allows me to inhabit the emotion of that space.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?

        I am fortunate in that I have not experienced an “artist’s block”. I have enough problems suffering from report writing block in my role as a heritage consultant/assessor. Getting out with my camera and processing my photos is a welcome break from a lot of the day to day bullshit

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

        Given I have only just taken the decision to make some of my work available to a wider audience it is very early days to talk of achievements. Recognition in the form of honourable mentions received for photographs submitted to the International Photographic Awards in 2012 and 2013 and various other local awards and international finalist for Wiki Loves Monuments competitions count as a stroke to the ego and I suppose are achievements. Mostly though the greatest achievement has being able to find a quiet place within myself.

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?

        Maybe ask me that question in my next life when I come back as a Miss World finalist?

        What are your plans for the coming year?
        To share a little more of who I am.

  • Waiting - Photography by Chris Snelling CHRIS SNELLING
    Photography / 84 x 51 cm
  • The Road Into There - Photography by Chris Snelling CHRIS SNELLING
    The Road Into There
    Photography / 84 x 43 cm
  • Down In The Valley - Photography by Chris Snelling CHRIS SNELLING
    Down In The Valley
    Photography / 84 x 54 cm
  • When You Come To A Curve - Photography by Chris Snelling CHRIS SNELLING
    When You Come To A Curve
    Photography / 84 x 56 cm
  • A Mist Lovely - Photography by Chris Snelling CHRIS SNELLING
    A Mist Lovely
    Photography / 84 x 51 cm