Roger Ballen photographic exhibition Edge of the Real (expanded) to open at Sirius Arts Centre

Sirius Arts Centre
Cobh, County Cork
EDGE OF THE REAL (expanded)
Photographs by
Opening Saturday 14 September 14:00
“Photography is like going into the mineshaft”, says Roger Ballen.  In his profession as a geologist, his fieldwork sometimes has taken him 2 kilometres under the earth’s surface in search of diamonds, gold, and other minerals. These subterranean pursuits have deeply influenced his artistic vision. As his development has progressed, the excavation has continued – time and again he masterfully brings up to the surface what he finds buried in the depths of his unconsciousness.
One of the most influential photographic artists of the 21st century, Roger Ballen’s photographs allows one to slip into an uncomfortable, yet somehow familiar terrain.  Originally from America, Ballen moved to Johannesburg South Africa in the 1970’s.  Never formally educated in photography, he made his living as a geologist until his third book, “Platteland” was published. Up until then he considered his photographic pursuits more a hobby than an occupation.
Ballen attributes his early visual development to opportunities he had during his childhood, surrounded by some of the greatest photographers of his time. He was raised in a household where photography was commonplace – Ballen’s mother worked as a picture editor for the Magnum Agency in the 1960’s and opened her own photographic gallery in the 1970’s – immediately he learned the power of black and white film and this has become his main palette of choice.
The exhibition at Sirius Arts Centre will include imagery from the many different stages of Ballen’s work beginning with his early projects such as, Boyhood, Dorps and Platteland, to the creation of more complex compositions which explore a deeper side of his own psyche in his later series Outland, Shadow Chamber, Boarding House and also his most recent work, Asylum.  The development of his mark making in set-ups and backdrops combined with the presence of animals and graffiti like symbols illustrate this descent into a deeper and often chaotic atmosphere.  Ballen was recently heralded for his direction of South African rap-rave group, Die Antwoord’s music video, ‘I Fink You’re Freaky’ which has won best music video awards in Poland and Portugal and makes up a new publication, “Roger Ballen and Die Antwoord” published by Prestel in 2013.
Edge of the Real was premiered at Belfast Photo Festival in June – for this expanded edition Sirius Arts Centre’s Artistic Director, Peggy Sue Amison has included additional photographs from Ballens’ oeuvre, to illustrate the changes and development of his visual language throughout his career.
Special thanks to Belfast Photo Festival and Roger Ballen for their support in making this exhibition possible.

This exhibition runs until Sunday 20 October 2013

For more information on Roger Ballen please visit his website at

Gallery Hours:
Wed – Fri 11AM – 1PM & 2PM – 5PM/ Sat and Sun 2pm – 5pm/Mon & Tues CLOSED.