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Steve Russell. Mountains of the Moon

A photographic exploration of the Rwenzori Mountains

Steve Russell’s childhood passion has led him into an award-winning career as a versatile professional photographer of portraits, landscapes, interiors and works of art. Now Africa has opened up a whole new vista.

Russell has built an enviable reputation over the years as the photographer of choice for many celebrated contemporary artists, both in the UK and internationally. His remarkable images of African subjects taken during his trips to the continent over the past six years show another facet of his creativity, revealing him to be an image-maker of great vision and sensitivity.

The images of people Steve met on his many visits to Uganda, Rwanda and elsewhere in Africa aren’t just a visual record of his journey. They represent a more personal journey. It is said that to meet Africa is to meet oneself. That broadening of inner horizons is a gift only a continent as vast and vibrant as Africa can bestow. Russell repays it in his rich photographs as a tribute of which we are the beneficiaries.

One of the highest mountain ranges on the African continent and supporting an amazingly diverse, endemic flora and fauna, the Rwenzori Mountains on the border between Uganda and Congo take their lunar reference from a description by early astronomer, mathematician and geographer Claudius Ptolemy. Five thousand metres up, the Rwenzori Mountains, with their glaciers, rocky outcrops and unique variety of plants and animals are like nowhere else on Earth.

The Rwenzori range was first professionally photographed in 1906, when Italian photographer Vittorio Sella accompanied Luigi Amedeo, Duke of Abruzzi, on an expedition to document and record the mountains and surrounding areas. Sella was particularly interested in the glaciers and the resulting images later prompted Ansel Adams to describe them as ‘inspiring a definitely religious awe’ . Russell’s images of the remains of these glaciers reveal to us the gravity of the effects of climate change, exposing as they do the alarming extent to which the ice has retreated.

Steve’s work features in both private and public collections including ‘Nature In Art’ Gallery and Museum in Gloucestershire, the Royal Geographical Society Collection and the British Council in Kampala, Uganda.

Steve’s images have been recognised in various competitions including Hasselblad Masters 2016, Travel Photographer of the Year 2015 and the British Book Design and Production awards 2013, where his book ‘Katonda Wenge’ was shortlisted for Best Book in the ‘Photographic, Arts, Architecture and Monographs’ category.

Mountains of the Moon runs from Wednesday 6th November to Sunday 8th December.  The Goods Shed is closed Mondays and Tuesdays and occasionally at other times for private functions, so if you are coming from a distance we suggest you might want to check with us before setting off.