A Cape Winelands Experience
Photographs by Ray Pearson
March 15th - 28th, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday March 15th, 2018, 6 - 9 PM
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 12 - 5pm.
These photographs are the work of a self-taught, solitary photographer who lived a very humble life.
Ray Pearson grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He left a large collection of photographs, but little is known about his work as a photographic artist.
While Ray was not exposed to art when he was growing up, as an adult he began to take an intense interest in art through books. In the early seventies, he sold all his possessions and made his way to London and Paris.
During this time the art world exploded into his consciousness. He was deeply impressed by the brilliance of the work of the Impressionist and Abstract Expressionist painters. It was during this time in Europe that Ray developed a profound appreciation of art.
Ray used photography as a solace, a search for answers to what he perceived as the failures in his life, and as an expression of himself. He lived for the satisfaction gained by producing something beautiful that met his high standards of perfection.
His photography collection includes landscapes, architecture and abstracts. He processed all his own work.
Ray Pearson held strong liberal views to the point of being pig-headed, and he could be both charming and abrasive. He felt very strongly about justice, human rights, civil rights, gender rights, social disorder and the indignity of poverty. These are the things for which he would want to be remembered.
Ray was passionate about all living things and was always there to lend a hand to those who needed one, even when he had to go without to do so.
Later in his life, his dream to have a simple life was realized when he went to live on a grape farm in Wellington called “Af en Toe” (Now and Then), in the winelands of the Western Cape, a beautiful area at the foot of the famous Groenenberg Mountains.
From the beginning, Ray was determined to take care of his workers. He lived in a log cabin without running water or electricity until he could improve the living conditions of the farm labourers. He turned a barn into a recreational room, adding a pool table and table top games, which he made himself.
He transported the labourers’ children to a clinic for a monthly check-up. When he realized the labourers’ dogs were inadequately cared for, he volunteered to take them to the local vet to be vaccinated and registered. He would own the dogs and look after them, but they would live with the labourers.
In the early nineties, while living in Wellington, Ray was one of few caucasian people to join the African National Congress of Nelson Mandela, believing that the winds of change had finally blown into South Africa.
For more information, please contact:
The gallery space is: Partially Accessible
Black Cat Artspace
2186 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON Canada