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TAKEN (article first published : 2004-11-30)

Apologies to all concerned for late posting

An exhibition by Ros Sarkin dedicated to the memory of Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) was recently held at the BAT Centre’s Menzi Mcunu Gallery and the Democratic Gallery. The exhibition ran from November 19 to 27.

Rosalyn Sarkin worked towards a BA Fine Arts Degree at UCT in Sculpture and Photography. Her education was interrupted when her husband, Dr Teddy Sarkin, was transferred to Durban to take up the position as Professor of Orthopeadics at the Medical School at the University of Natal in Durban in 1974.

In Durban she became involved in cultural and educational affairs and co-founded the Durban International Film Festival with her husband in 1979. She directed the Durban Film Festival for 17 years and became the first South African delegate to be invited to the Moscow Film Festival as well as the Film Festival in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. For this contribution she received the Durban Critics Circle Award for her contribution to Arts and Culture in KwaZulu-Natal.

She joined the Durban City Council and saw it through three eras from 1980 to 2000. Ros was the first woman councillor in South Africa to join the African National Congress. In 2002 the eThekwini Municipality presented her, together with other struggle stalwarts, with the Nomzansi Dorothy Nyembe Award for contributing towards Women's Emancipation.

At present she has cut down her civic duties to concentrate on her full-time studies in photography at the Durban Institute of Technology where she is a fourth year student. She serves on the following: BAT Centre Board of Trustees; Durban Arts Association; she's a life member of the NSA; a member of Amnesty International; Chairs the Amphimarket Committee; and is treasurer of a working committee of the Durban Growth Coalition - the Greater Durban Community Foundation.

Ros lives on the Berea in a house she has lived in for 30 years and has three children, Jeremy, Georgia and Andrew and four grandchildren.

“I photograph what I see through the lens,” says Ros. “It is my own subjective observation of life. I have always been interested in the unusual, in reading between the lines, in the white spaces. What fascinates me is capturing that split second of time that is usually invisible to the human eye. We look, but we do not see. The camera, however captures this fragment of reality, which may in fact even become another reality, an alternate dimension.

“It is this sense of making visual the particular that continues to captivate me and drives me to search and explore more dimensions and situations.”




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