''Russel’s art life began in his early years of primary school, where he took part in Speech and Drama classes. It was only after high school, after picking up the camera for the first time, that he saw its true potential. He later in enrolled at the Port Elizabeth Art and Design College, where he only stayed for one year before settling at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University‘s School of Art, Design and Music. His love for creating visual art sees him preferring to focus on documentary and Fine Arts works than other genres. He finds shooting documentary flexible in terms of communication, which allows him to fully capture the complete emotional spectrum on offer.
As a visual artist who’s inspired by the raw emotions of his subjects, Russel’s process for every assignment is simply to capture the innocence of life, in which he believes the truth and the image of creation lie. “The essence and direction of my creative thought process is just that,” he explained. “My photography is inseparably with my spiritual life, the aids to this vision are therefore too spiritual, I see photography as an act of devotion to creation and a communion between the creator and me. I pray before I shoot and when editing, I simply immense myself in worship music.” His pictures offer the true form of life, with his skillful combination of lifeless material and nature. His astonishing images of landscapes, recycled materials and decomposed animals are brought to life by the addition of earthy colors.
Even though Russel is inspired by artist, from painters to sculptures as well as musicians, it’s international photographers such as the legendary Henri Cartier-Bresson, who inspired him to capture life in its purest sense. Russel also praises Brazilian photographer Sabastio Slagado for his ability to present the wretched and worst conditions of human life ethically, bringing out the true nature of his subject. Among the legends that inspire him, Russel admires the local works of Tim Hopwood, for his dedication to fine art photography and David Goldblatt, who has shown people the potential of the medium and its power to influence history.''
By Jess M
editor of Onesmallseed