Stellenbosch University Museum: 24 July – 31 August 2019
St John South Africa, well-known internationally for first-aid training, eye care and related services, is hosting a touring photographic exhibition to promote the work conducted in the field of eye care and the impact this work has had on the lives of everyday South Africans, which officially opened at the Johannesburg Country Club on the 18th of October 2018.
Since then, the exhibition has toured at the Durban Art Gallery as well as the Studio Art Gallery in Simons Town and is poised to be unveiled in for its next leg in Stellenbosch.
The exhibition features 32 photographs taken by renowned Cape Town photographer David Prior with accompanying explanatory narratives. David worked in conjunction with St John’s Chris Martin as exhibition Project Manager, Robyn Keet as Creative Director and the ABSA curatorial team.
Sight is a very personal and intimate experience for each individual and this is at the heart of this exhibition. These images showcase the individuals who benefit from the eye care services that St John offers. The exhibition breathes life into its mottos: “Pro Fide” – “Pro Utilitate Hominum” which means For the Faith and in the service of humanity. Everyone selected to be featured in the exhibition has a personal story to tell. We meet among others, a dressmaker, a truck driver, a construction worker and a community leader – people who shape our lives and our communities, and all of whom are genuinely patients and clients of St John. These are the people that St John South Africa serves.
Included in the exhibition are the stories of the unsung heroes within St John – dedicated individuals who give their time as optometrists, receptionists, and bookkeepers. Men and women working towards a better vision, a grander vision, a 20/20 Vision.
St John Vision 20/20 very particular goals in mind: its aims is to showcase how individuals’ lives are changed when they have the gift of healthy eyesight and to raise awareness about the eye care work of St John in local communities as well as to highlight the importance of accessible, affordable, high quality eye care.
Info on Eyesight
Eighty percent of all blindness is preventable or at least treatable. Healthy eyesight determines our quality of life and everyday experiences whether it’s a child learning to read, a pedestrian crossing the road or a breadwinner working to put a meal on the table for their family.
History of St John’s Work with Eye Care
St John was established in Grahamstown in 1883 and operates 12 Eye Care Clinics across South Africa, providing professional eye testing and the dispensing of budget spectacles to members of the community who are unable to afford commercial rates. In addition, St John Eye Care Clinics diagnose cases where patients require corrective surgery, such as cataracts, and refer them to local eye hospitals for treatment. This screening process enables the hospitals to concentrate on their primary function of surgery. Optometrists who practice at St John Eye Care Clinics are also members of the South African Optometric Association.