The Iziko National Gallery of South Africa
Rhodes University Collection
The Jack Ginsberg Art CollectionWhile I was working towards my exhibition, FrontTears (1997) I came across a small, faded photograph of my grandfather. He looks about five or six years old, it was taken in 1915, the beginning of the First World War. He is standing in a suburban living room in Graaf-Reinet, Eastern Cape, South Africa. The glare of the Karoo light or maybe just the bleached quality of the photograph makes him appear spectral. He is holding a toy wooden gun over his shoulder and is standing to attention. What captured me, when I saw this photograph, was the look on his face, he looks off into the distance, old beyond his years.