David Goldblatt
On the mines

A recent trip to South Africa allowed for yet another viewing of this seminal consolidated body of work of one of the greatest photographers of all time. Goldblatt portrayed some of the ugliest and most difficult political histories as in his own words ‘quiet moments’ and his repetition in themes and locations allowed him to know and portrey the essence of places and people unlike no other.

My observation of his images at this viewing was that of an architect or designer and was sparked by this image of a Barber’s chair in Krugersdorp mine from 1965. This chair is constructed from mining timbers and its beauty for me comes from it being an item of pure necessity assembled from what is locally available. I hope to be able to design and build in this manner.

Photography: David Goldblatt

A barber's chair of mining timbers, outside a compound on the Luipaardsvlei Estates, Krugersdorp, 1965

Winder house, Farrar Shaft, Anglo Mines, Germiston, 1965