People Apart: 1950s Cape Town Revisited

Darren Newbury, Bryan Heseltine
Black Dog

In People Apart: 1950s Cape Town Revisited, the simultaneous historical depth and phenomenological presence of Bryan Heseltine’s photographs are the soul of the work. As the first chapter, From Cape Town to London, and back, denotes, Heseltine’s photographs are replete with the historical, social and political implications of his travels. However, within South Africa and Cape Town itself, Heseltine was virtually unknown.

Neither a street photographer nor capturing cultural references through definitive objects, Heseltine engaged through hybrid portraits. His backdrops – Windermere, Nyanga, Bo-Kaap and District Six – expose the regions of South Africa through a variety of different techniques.

From dilapidated townscapes to capturing working environments and intimate close-portrait photography, Heseltine’s photographic subject and focus altered as he moved across the Cape terrain. These images vibrantly bring individual neighbourhoods to life, with an honest and insightful eye.

Fiona Martin