St. John Fuller

Born in Cape Town, St. John Fuller moved to England before he was a teenager. Late into his twenties he started to return to South Africa. Finally after 7 or so years of going back and forth between the two countries he settled down in South Africa.

 

During his time in England he studied fine art at Southampton. His focus was photography. It was in his first year that he was introduced to pinhole photography by Justin Quinell. His interest developed quickly. By the end of his degree, Fuller was already designing and building his own multi aperture cameras. Part of the reason for his wanting to build his own cameras was that he was unhappy with the single perspective shot that a regular over the counter camera took. Quinell had inspired him to explore further the question of how a photograph is made. At every stage there lay opportunity to explore and experiment with what happened. For Fuller, what intrigued him was the question of how to create a camera that could mimic the way we experience the world. A single shot camera presents one view point. The cameras that Fuller builds have multiple lenses.

 

The resultant photographs '"resent an inclusive event, a multiple view point of a period of time where each 'frame' is non discreet. The information seen is shared by all of them, but with different weightings. Each frame bares witness to the moment in a different way. Some see too much (over exposed), others don't see anything at all (underexposed).

 

Together as a unit, as a camera, the way they bare witness to an event comes closer to the human experience than the single, split second shot of the 35mm SLR camera. Although each frame tells a unique story, they all share a common thread, the thread of the moment, the event that they experienced together.

 

While Fuller's early photographs focused on landscape and urban scenes, his more recent work has focused on portraiture. In order to take the portraits he has developed his own technique. The final result can be said to echo the works of Cezanne and that of the cubists who, both in terms of space and time, were interested in trying to capture the truth of perception.