I Am World Cup, or why I don’t like sport.

I don’t follow any sport. This may seem a bit strange as my current series of images are all from the football world cup in South Africa.  The series ‘I am World Cup’ all show myself in various poses as a football player, supporter or team trainer. Using images from internet media sites, I am exploring the role of identity in a global sporting framework.  I have never understood the fascination and mentality behind sport, or for that matter political dogmatism. 

My team is me. 
My country is me.
This player is me. 
These colours are me.

This is dangerous ground where the fan become a fanatic and creates an ‘us and them’ situation.  

‘From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.’ Denis Diderot

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I don’t know if you have ever observed this strange thing, the self.

I think that ultimately all art is about the self. As I am working through my backlog of photographs, I realise that all images are about me.  Exploring my archive of photos allows me to find different aspects of myself.  The photo of that old man is me, the image of that landscape is me, the framing of this shot is me …..

I am currently also reading ‘Soul Mountain’ by Gao Xingjian and have found my thoughts on the self reflected in his writing:


‘ I don’t know if you have ever observed this strange thing, the self.  Often the more you look the more it isn’t it.  It’s just like when one is lying on the grass and staring at a cloud – at first it’s just like a camel, then like a women, and when you look again it becomes an old man with a long beard, but this doesn’t last because clouds are transformed every instant. Gao p.150

Looking at my images, as a reflection of my self,  they are clouds which are ever changing and it seems pointless trying to grasp them. 

Gao Xingjian, 2000, Soul Mountain, Harper Collins, Sydney, Australia


All things change, and we change with them.

This project explores the changing space of the urban environment in Chinese cities. The photographs investigate the role of memory, culture and personal space as part of a person’s identity.  China’s current urban expansion offers an ideal opportunity to document the destruction and rebuilding of old and new memories.   I started this series of images in Beijing prior to the 2008 Olympics and continued in Shanghai, preceding the World Expo.   

In both cities large urban living spaces were eradicated and replaced by modern housing blocks, roads or commercial spaces.  In the process, thousands of people were relocated from their traditional dwellings into mostly high-rise buildings.  This action not only changes the living space for the mostly poor inhabitants, but it also irreversibly changes the culture of this urban landscape.  In the build-up to the Shanghai World Expo it is estimated that 20,000 people have been relocated to make room for new development. 

In other parts of China the situation is no different, where redevelopment plans run into billions of dollars.  According to the International Herald Tribune (29 April 2010)  A single city, Chongquin, plans to invest 1 trillion renminbi or 146.4 billion USD in 323 redevelopment projects in the next few years.

My photos explore what has been left behind. This includes images of old buildings that still bear witness to their former life, people living in a state of flux and objects that contain cultural and personal memories.

‘All things change, and we change with them.’ Chinese proverb