Chris Saunders-A Portrait of South African Street Culture

at The Institute


A new exhibition by acclaimed photographer and documentary film maker featuring contemporary images of South African street culture is currently showing at the Institute in Marchmont. Focussing his lens on The Real Action Pantsula Dance Crew from Johannesburg capturing the rhythm referred to as ‘S’Phara Phara’ which is the name given to the insistent sound of trains as they make their way along the tracks.

With a history in fashion and advertising Saunders has used this experience to fashion an exhibition which resonates with vitality and colour whilst crackling with vital intensity and natural rhythmic pulses exquisitely captured. The portraits range from group shots, stills, individual moments and dance sequences captured in full flight. Sharp, poised and poignant Saunders has absorbed himself in the world of his subjects whilst remaining removed from its centre to still capture it with a rounded perspective and an all Seeing Eye. Moments are related for the viewers benefit with both clarity and empathy.

Alert, vivacious, soulful and vibrant the exhibition is an immediate mood lifter as soon as you walk into this new venue and hip hangout for Edinburgh’s arty elite-although in no way elitist- in a part of town which has, thus far, remained unrecognised as a creative hub although this is now changing and this exhibition is merely a further step in the right direction.

A further step is the project by proprietor and renowned photographer Gavin Evans called ‘Touch’ which involves a collection of naked subjects captured through a frame reaching out and touching. This takes place on Wednesday evenings from 6.30pm onwards and Evans is still looking for models if anyone is interested in participating in a worthwhile art event which will hopefully result in publication of a book.

The Institute, 14 Roseneath Street EH9 IJH


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