published Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Sewanee exhibition combines photography, social commitment - Sept. 5

“Untitled No. 1” is a 2003 photo on newsprint from photographer David Southwood: Beach Boys series.
“Untitled No. 1” is a 2003 photo on newsprint from photographer David Southwood: Beach Boys series.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  • photo
    “Untitled No. 4” from the N1 Series is a 2006 archival inkjet print on cotton rag paper from David Southwood.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The University Art Gallery in Sewanee, Tenn., will open its 2014-15 exhibition season on Friday, Sept. 5, with “David Southwood: N1 and Beach Boys,” two connected bodies of work by the internationally recognized South African artist.

Both projects combine photography with social commitment, and both explore transitional, marginal places and the question of what it takes to make a “place.” Southwood will speak about his work at 4:30 p.m. CDT Friday in Convocation Hall, with a brief introduction by art historian and photographer Meghan Kirkwood of North Dakota State University.

The N1 series profiles the National Road One project, the longest freeway in South Africa and the connector route between the country’s two largest cities, Cape Town and Johannesburg. It depicts, in Southwood’s words, “the highway as an awkward place, the stage for unchoreographed events, the migrating protagonists of which were never intended to use the highway.”

The Beach Boys series documents the lives of a group of Tanzanian stowaways who live among the N1 infrastructure in Cape Town. Responsibility for this group of men, living without passports or travel documentation, is not claimed by South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs, shipping agents, nor the government of Tanzania. The group resists the help of nongovernmental organizations.

University Art Gallery is at 68 Georgia Ave. on the campus of the University of the South. Hours are 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (all times Central). For more information, call 931- 598-1223 or visit

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