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Friday, September 2, 2011

extra ordinary

("Brutal Colour - Westville", digital photograph by Sally Giles, 42cm x 29.7cm)

artSPACE durban’s Middle Gallery is currently hosting photographs by Sally Giles in an exhibition titled Extra ordinary.

In 2006, Giles spent many months in informal settlements around Durban, shooting a documentary about shack dwellers. During this period, she became acutely aware of her own privileged status and began to question what it means to be a part of "the middle class".

South Africa is made up of extremes, from very rich to very poor, with the working class and middle class somewhere in between. Since the end of apartheid, the gap between rich and poor has widened. However, the emerging middle class amongst the previously disadvantaged groups has grown, which means they have more disposable income than before.

A life in the middle, otherwise known as ‘ordinary’...

“Ordinary” people like to talk about “the rich” or “the poor”, we read articles about celebrities, and we watch other people in far off, exotic places. But who is watching us? What do ‘ordinary’ people do on the weekend, for our holidays or even whilst we are at work? Musings such as these motivated Giles to turn her lens, at home and abroad, with a wry, sometimes humorous look at other ordinary people going about their daily lives.

extra ordinary runs until September 10 at artSPACE Durban, 3 Millar Road (off Umgeni Road) close to the Waste Centre. More information on 031 312 0793 or visit or