It’s quite silly how fortunate I am to have had my journey and progression as an artist over the past three years visually documented by the keenly perceptive and expert eye of artist, photographer and friend, Neville Starling. The visual aspect of this website is made up largely of his handiwork.
As if infected by his delightfully haphazard and characteristically hoppy powers of thought and concentration, my mind jumps to all manner of things in a mischievous attempt to avoid putting this down into words. From the bells he fashioned for the autonomous tapping of my foot, to the feathers and findings he collects from his peculiar wonderings, a wealth of imagery springs to mind.
Cat’s Rest, The Continuum Of Fixed Places
When I moved back to Bulawayo in 2014, Neville had just begun his research into his soon to be obsession with antiquated photography and alternative light sensitive mediums. I had a couple rough home studio recordings of my songs and had just begun toying with the idea of performing. Our relationship grew at a time when we began to explore and take our respective crafts seriously. This was due in no small measure to how much we enjoyed and admired each other’s work and in a city where art is not known to thrive – not for lack thereof, but due to the sad reality that art is the first to suffer when other necessities are scarce – it was a shelter from the harsh blows and a source of endless encouragement and mutual inspiration.
Secret Twister, The continuum Of Fixed Places
Since then, Neville’s research into antiquated photography and the utterly magical processes that stem from that medium have lead him to the study of time. His projects over the last three years are a delicate unraveling of time’s subtle yet artful effects on our memory and how it moulds our very personalities. A perusal of his portfolio reveals an exquisite visual archive of his explorations into the processes of time, from studies of the turbulent past and uncertain future of a land and its inhabitants, to the corrosive effects of Alzheimer’s disease on a mind and its memory and what this reveals about personality. All this is carried out with a singular sort of curiosity, and with an understanding of the nature of things that draws you gently into his enquiry. Armed with light and what might be described as a certain kind of alchemy, he offers images that suggest the shape of the questions we must begin to ask.
Cracked Glass, The Continuum Of Fixed Places
Portions of this body of work and others have been exhibited in major galleries in Bulawayo and Harare. Neville Starling’s most recent collection, The Moon & The Moth was exhibited at the MTN Bushfire Festival in Swaziland this year and ponders how and why the same desires that drive humanity’s progress threaten to cause its demise. You can find and follow Neville Starling’s latest work on his website and for regular updates and visual treats, find him on Instagram here. I highly recommend you do.