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In memory of Paul Grendon

12 Sep 2019 - 08:30

 

Story Michal Singer  Photos Paul Grendon Collection, UCT Special Collections

 

Photo of Paul Grendon standing with partner Tina SmithPaul Grendon passed away on Saturday 7 September 2019.

He was a prolific and profoundly talented photographer based in Cape Town and is remembered by his partner Tina Smith, his family, his friends and his community.

Paul Grendon left behind a powerful body of work, both documenting the struggle against Apartheid, and contributing to it through his work in a range of media, including public art and documentary photography.


Photo credit: South African History Online, www.sahistory.org.za.

 

He joined the Afrapix collective of South African documentary photographers in the early 1980s, seeking to represent the disenfranchised and to shine a light on their struggles. Some of his published material is available in the African Studies Library at Special Collections, and a collection of his earlier photography is showcased on the UCT Digital Collections platform, including the Apartheid-era documentation of the struggle of a community to regain land in Namaqualand, and the ANC campaign for the first democratic election in 1994.

 

Photo of Children standing in front of Matjieshuis, Namaqualand, 1987

Children standing in front of Matjieshuis, Namaqualand, 1987 | Paul Grendon Collection

 

Photo of Children chasing pig at the Griekwe Sports Day, Knysna, Western Cape, 2001

Griekwe Sports Day, Knysna, Western Cape, 2001 | Paul Grendon Collection

 

Funeral of Ashley Kriel, Bonteheuwel, Cape Town, 1987

Funeral of Ashley Kriel, Bonteheuwel, Cape Town, 1987 | Paul Grendon Collection


Health Sector March, Observatory, Cape Town, c. 1980s

Health Sector March, Observatory, Cape Town, c. 1980s | Paul Grendon Collection

 

Nelson Mandela signs mural at the Alexander Sinton Secondary School, 1992

Nelson Mandela signs mural at the Alexander Sinton Secondary School, 1992 | Paul Grendon Collection

 

More recently, he helped establish the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum through declaring Hostel 33 a provincial heritage site.  

Paul Grendon was also a UCT Alumnus, graduating from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 1982. In a beautiful tribute to him on social media, his friend Zackie Achmat described him as “the beautiful man with a shy smile, humble to the core, an artist committed to freedom and justice, Paul Grendon has died.”