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Adriaan van Heerden

Place of birth: South Africa
Date of birth: 16/07/1971
works and lives at Ashtead

Adriaan van Heerden is an award-winning international photographer with a particular passion for wildlife, travel and landscapes. Adriaan came to photography via a PhD in Philosophy at King’s College, Cambridge, where his dissertation focused on the fundamental roles that tragedy, humour and love play in our shared human existence and experience of the world. These topics have continued to inform his visual art as well.

Drawing inspiration from past masters like Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Paul Strand through to contemporary photographers such as Michael Kenna, Mitch Dubrowner, Miro Kiyoshi and Bien-U Bai, Adriaan uses photography as a kind of poetry to explore the worlds of humans and nature and the connections between them. He believes that an image has to resonate emotionally with the viewer for it to be satisfying and meaningful. Depending on the image he uses colour or monochrome processing to emphasise the poetic quality of the picture, always aware that it is the privilege of the artist to create beauty in a fragile world, and that photography has a role to play in preserving and conserving that beauty.

Adriaan’s work has been exhibited in London (Cork Street, Pall Mall, Chelsea and Bloomsbury), Barcelona (Casa Batlló), Kyoto (JARFO Gallery) and Singapore (Affordable Art Fair), and his pictures are held in private collections in the UK, the USA and South Africa.

He has written on wildlife photography for Go! Magazine (South Africa) and his pictures have been published in the BBC Wildlife Magazine, Outdoor Photography, eXel Photo Magazine, The Telegraph Magazine (Online), Surrey Life Magazine, Go! Magazine (South Africa), The Star (Johannesburg), The Argus (Cape Town), the Natal Daily News, De Kat Magazine (South Africa) and Art Has No Borders.

Adriaan is a member of the Guild of Photographers and he is currently represented by Gabriel Fine Art Gallery in Canary Wharf, London.

His awards include the following:

Finalist in the ArtGemini Award 2016 (Photography);

First Prize Winner in the ArtGemini Award 2015 (Photography);

Finalist in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 2014 & 2015;

Runner-Up Winner in the Art Has No Borders International Art Competition on the Animal Kingdom 2014;

Highly Commended in the USA Landscape Photographer of the Year Competition 2014;

Shortlisted for the East West Art Awards 2014;

Selected to be one of four Artists in Residence at the JARFO Gallery in Kyoto in April 2015.

Adriaan runs regular photography experience days and weekends in the UK and wildlife photography safaris to East and Southern Africa.

  • ORA International
  • 2013