From February, 12 2017 to March, 5 2017

Scuderie Granducali Seravezza

"For the love of film" by Ken Gerhardt

Artist photographer from Cape Town, his interest in photography arises after the artistic studies at the Michaelis Art School, when he started working at Dick Schwager photo studio. It is now 40 years that he works on his several photographic projects both in black and white and in colour. In Seravezza you will see the following projects:”Film Revisited”, “Gates & Fences”, “Karatara”, “Off the rail” all shooted on film in black and white and printed on silver gelatin.


It was in my late teens that the fine arts became a passion of mine and, had photography not seduced me away, I would have gone on to study fine art at Michaelis Art School in Cape Town.
The attraction to photography led me to Dirk Schwager’s studio. From day one as his understudy, I was assigned to darkroom duties. After fourteen months in the ‘dark ages’ he finally handed me a Nikon F2, one roll of black-and-white film and ushered me out into the daylight, “Bring me back some pictures and, make sure they’re bloody good.”
It’s been 38 years since I went out on my own but it’s in the last few years that my passion for the fine arts re-surfaced. In 2011, I dug out my old Nikon SLR cameras, imported Kodak and Ilford film stock; I now leave my digital gear behind and venture out in pursuit of creating and taking pictures; “make sure they’re bloody good” echoing in my mind.
I know that analog photography; wet-lab film processing and Silver-Gelatin handprints are the way forward to liberating that first love.  Ken Gerhardt

“...the camera need not be a cold mechanical device. Like the pen, it is as good as the man who uses it. It can be the extension of mind and heart...” - John Steinbeck.


"Film REvisited"
is a body of work that includes an old classic 1942 British motorcycle, the Royal Enfield. The inspiration was to emulate film director Alfred Hitchcock who appeared in every film he directed. Similarly, I have placed the Royal Enfield (RE) into every picture; sometimes as the hero and, in others understated and often difficult to find in the photograph.



        "Gates 'n Fences"
This body of work is ongoing and was inspired while shooting “Film REvisited” – during the seven months it took to gather material for “Film REvisited” - I became fascinated with our countryside and the countless farm gates that promised a ‘hidden’ farm house somewhere beyond. And of course farms that were fenced in by endless wire. There is a real intrigue driving for days and months and witnessing a country almost totally wrapped in wire!

"The Garden Path"

Karatara is a settlement that was developed during 1930-1945 to up-lift the lives of poor whites in this forestry region. I was drawn to how the homes appeared identical however; each garden changed that impression quite significantly.
Though each house has the same ‘footprint’ on its respective plot of ground, they ultimately differ; I got to wonder; “who lives up the garden path and why the difference?”
During my photography it became evident that this settlement of poor whites is going through radical change.
The generations of white families that have been living here are now selling their homes to coloured folk in the region; this change of ‘ownership’ is of significance in South Africa’s climate of land distribution and re-distribution.
Sadly, within the next ten years I fear there may be no ‘white families’ living here. What I did experience is that in Karatara, there is no animosity between the coloured and white families at all. They live in harmony of each other. A very unique situation not found in many other places in South Africa.

I decided to document the white families first from purely a historical value point of view. I will however, be returning to photograph the Coloured folk in similar fashion. This could ultimately lead to an exhibition/book depicting the harmonious and peaceful co-habitation of South Africans from different culture heritage.

There are 132 homes of similar construction in Karatara – 46% white families; 54% coloured families. Only some 18 years ago was Karatara an all-white village!

Nikon F6 - Profoto Lighting System - ILFORD Delta 135/36
Lens: PC-E Nikkor 24mm 1:3.5D throughout the collection.
ILFORD Multigrade ‘FB’ Semi.Matt, Warmtone.
Silver-Gelatin 20 x 24inch enlargements by master printer; Dennis da Silva - Johannesburg, RSA


      "Off the rails"

This body of work is current and I’m shooting more fine art photographs – it is also a project of necessity.
There is a wise saying; “.., a prophet is never heard in his own home town.”
This challenges me because this stretch of railroad I’ve known since a little boy. It is so much my “home town” I need to shoot it in such a way that it appears as if I’m seeing it for the first time. My other challenge is this railway line runs along one of the most scenic stretches of coastline found anywhere in the world. Therefore the category “Candid” is apt choice for this body of work.

riconoscimento M6/2018
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