My new work, Hidden Nature, is on show this week at Amplify Studio, 153 Loop Street, Cape Town. The exhibition opens tonight, December 7th at 6 pm, coinciding with First Thursday.
About Hidden Nature
Strolling through the sights, sounds and smells of nature brings benefits—lower stress hormones, better immune response, lower blood pressure, and improved psychological state. These are unlikely responses for a nature reveller constantly fingering a canister of pepper spray and looking over their shoulder. While Cape Town boasts some of the world’s most beautiful urban nature areas, a spate of high profile attacks and armed muggings have many reconsidering their nature outings. Half of Western Cape residents report being afraid to visit parks and urban nature areas for fear of crime.
Fear is also shaping conservation priorities. Our city has more threatened plants than all but six other countries. Even so, a vicious argument and legal battle rages over what to do with the remnants of an invasive pine plantation in Lower Tokai Park. It should be restored to a critically endangered vegetation type called Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, of which a tiny fraction remains. But many park users feel that fynbos, the woolly, native vegetation, is too easy for would-be attackers to hide in, a position solidified by the horrific murder of a teenager in the park in 2016.
These photographs highlight the beauty and serenity of parks in and around Cape Town, but each has a sinister element—a person hiding amid the magnificence, threatening discord in an otherwise harmonious scene.
About the Artist
Morgan Trimble is a photographer and writer based in Cape Town. Born in the United States, Morgan graduated from MIT before moving to South Africa in 2007 where she earned a PhD in ecology. Her work focuses on the natural world and human connections to the environment. Her “Hidden Nature” series was inspired by the ongoing conservation controversy in Tokai Park and the pervasive fear preventing more widespread use and enjoyment of public parks and nature areas.
About the show
This Amplify Studio show features the work of the three winners of the 2017 Amplify Image Quest competition: Gregory Rhoode, Morgan Trimble, and Abdus Salaam Keyser. The photographers were one of two teams representing the Leica brand in this unique photographic scavenger hunt.