Niamh Walsh-Vorster, a Durban-based freelancer and independent photographer, grew up in a very religious household – both of her parents are methodist pastors, and so the Methodist church has always been the core of Niamh’s family life. When hearing these facts – especially that her father has serves as Bishop for several years – you may expect Niamh to be a deeply religious person, overly pious and conservative. Both Niamh and her parents, however, are fairly liberal, and Niamh herself does not attend church.
While Niamh is not actively religious in the same way as her parents, she does respect the church and its community. Niamh understands that religion is her parents’ way of understanding the world, and connecting with the people around them. Through her project Faith and Ambiguity, Niamh explores the concept of religion through a conversation with her father. The work is a self-reflective exercise that looks at the (sometimes unconventional) manner in which the Methodist church has shaped her life and relationships.
The images and video include “family moments reflected in the every day activities at home, away from the walls of the place of worship. Moments of a Sunday service to provide context and show the quiet ways people connect at church; water as a symbolic body for quietness and tranquility; moments of being alone, on a phone, looking outside a window, reflecting.”