03 May Featured: Russell Grant
Twenty six year old Russell Grant is a photographer, Philosophy student and one part of Durban Is Yours, where he occasionally writes articles and takes photos and always edits copy. He says, “I never studied photography formally, opting for training in Philosophy instead (in which I’m busy trying to finish a Master’s degree which has taken far too long). Someone told me that philosophers make great photographers so I’m optimistic about that.”
Garry Winogrand once said to William Eggleston, “Bill, you can take a good picture of anything.” Which is a pretty great way to sum up Russell’s approach to photography. We love that anything and everything is at risk of being captured by Russell’s flash. His bright, bold, off the cuff photos show an insider’s look at life in Durban.
Since he can remember Russell has loved taking photos, always playing around with his parents’ old box cameras and disposables. He says, “I enjoyed documenting myself and my friends fooling around on the beach or on school trips. I got my first ‘real’ camera from my parents for my 21st, a Canon 350D, which I used for a very long time before upgrading. Then my gran gave me my late grandfather’s Minolta SRT 101 which I love, and I’ve been dabbling a bit with medium format stuff too.”
Russell shares his photos online on tumblr and in print through his recently started zine, ART WURLD. He let us know more about it:
ART WURLD is the fruit of my passion for self publishing. I’ve always loved zines and the freedom they give to their authors. I remember as a child writing stories and stapling them together and distributing them to my friends. Someday I want to own my own press and publish other people’s work, from poetry, literature and fiction, to photography and art. Hopefully ART WURLD can be the start of that.
I always had the dream of starting a zine in the back of my head but it always seemed to sit on the backburner. Then I got the idea for the name and decided I would take a couple point and shoots to Splashy Fen and make the first issue about that. I had gotten a good response to the photos I took with point and shoots at last year’s Splashy so I thought I could come out with something quite strong again. I asked around for people to contribute and ended up with Skullboy and Bob Perfect. Neither of them are photographers by profession, but both are enthusiastic about it, and I know they both love to party so would probably come back with some cool stuff.
Basically it’s a personal project that I want to use to give some direction to my personal work. I’m always having ideas for projects and books that I might want to publish, but never knew where to start, so ART WURLD will essentially be my outlet for that. I might publish one with just poetry in it for instance, or maybe just art. It’s completely up to me. It also gives me direction as I tend to take a lot of photos and then never look at them ever, and they’re usually all over the place style wise. Having something to work towards is hugely important to me.
Find more of Russell’s work at russellgrant.tumblr.com.