KOMANI photographer Dawie Kernekamp has been invited to submit two of his works to be included in a six month exhibition entitled ‘Sense of Place’ in the Imibala Art Gallery established by the Rupert family in Graaff-Reinet and he and his wife, Esmarie, attended the opening of the exhibition last Friday evening.
Dawie says he has always been interested in photography, but never had formal training until last year, when he took an on-line diploma in professional photography through the Photography Institute.
After leaving Hoërskool Hangklip, he worked for a while at Crystal Studio, where owner Norman Abousselam helped and encouraged him and he remembers being bestman at a wedding and watching another local photographer, Tracey Roux, at work, which also stimulated his interest.
What started out as a hobby has grown in leaps and bounds, but Dawie is not a full-time ‘snapper’, he is a trainer for the South African Police Service, but ‘one day’ he would like to do photography as a profession and have his own studio…”perhaps when I retire.”
At present most of his photographic work comprises wedding assignments which he enjoys as he likes to interact with people, so portraits, family groups and so on are also high on his list of priorities. “I would love to do more landscapes as well, but they are much more time-consuming and time is not really on my side,” he says.
Dawie’s sister works at the Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet where the gallery is housed and she sent his photos to the exhibition curator in Somerset West, who was very happy with them and had no hesitation in inviting him to exhibit. All pictures on display are for sale and a percentage of the proceeds goes to help needy children in the town.
His pictures on the exhibition are both sepia, one of 1.5 metres by 40cm taken in 2012 when the Gariep Dam overflowed which he named ‘The Veil’ as the mist created by the thundering water reminded him of a bride’s veil. At the time they lived and worked at the dam and came back to Komani soon after.
The picture recently won a competition with the theme “Water’.
But Dawie gives much credit to Esmarie too. “I could never do this without her encouragement, suggestions and constructive criticism,” he says.