Bronze / 2018 / Fine Art / Abstract

Sand Script - A history of place

  • Prize
    Bronze in Fine Art/Abstract
  • Photographer
    Pieter de Vos

This series explores how patterns of sand can trace the history of a place. During my daily walks along a stretch of beach in Aposentillo, Nicaragua, I was struck by the unique images left behind by retreating waves. It occurred to me that the layers of light and dark volcanic particles convey deeper meanings. There is a dialogue between the land and the ocean — a visual communication transmitted by the perpetual movement of water and sand. It is the symbolic discourse of place. In this case, the script reveals the origin of Nicaragua and its tumultuous past. The writing also foreshadows what might come as traditional ways of life are disrupted by the arrival of tourism and the increased investment of foreign capital. It is as if the land and the ocean are channelling the spirit of the Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío and his images of seaswells and charcoal skies.

Pieter de Vos is a documentary photographer, facilitator, and engaged academic. He has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Alberta. He has explored social issues such as poverty, social inclusion, and HIV/AIDS. His photos have been exhibited throughout Canada and have been featured by such media as Photo District News, the Globe and Mail, Photo Life Magazine, Alberta Views Magazine, the Edmonton Journal, and CBC Television.

In 2012 (ongoing), he initiated a photographic and narrative exploration of place-making and spatial justice in an informal settlement in Pretoria, South Africa. A monograph consisting of images and stories will be published in April 2019 by Daylight Books.