Inside this issue
Franci van der Vyver
I live in Toronto where you’ll find me in the gardens and ravines, either with a stepladder or garden kneepads, forever broadening the viewpoint from where I shoot.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
While some say that Flickr has had its day, I still find it a useful way of finding new inspiration and new photographers, and it was here that I first stumbled across Franci van der Vyver. We’re used in this country to technically perfect portraits of plants and flowers, or perhaps selective use of depth of field. Look towards Europe and you’ll see artistic interpretations of plants in their natural habitats, often incorporating creative use of available light. Franci’s work, for me, builds on the latter, and adds a sense of nature’s dynamic – you can almost feel the breeze, or the sparkling dew.
Can you tell me a little about your background – your education, early interests and career?
I grew up loving nature, as I was surrounded by it. My childhood home was located on the slope of a mountain overlooking the ocean in the beautiful Fynbos region of South Africa.
Despite my fascination with art, I have never had any formal training in this area. However, I was taught to play the piano and flute by my mother, a musician and composer. I studied at the picturesque University of Stellenbosch. After graduating I became a psychologist and loved working with people for many years. Eventually my family and I emigrated to Canada. It was here in Canada that my interest in photography and other visual arts grew stronger, leading me to become more creative and discover a new passion.