South African-born Nick Compton is a former England International cricketer (2012 – 2016) and grandson of one of England’s greatest batsmen Denis Compton. 20 years of professional cricket and travel awakened some hidden instincts in me.
Off the pitch I found myself responding to the cultures of less privileged societies; their openness, tolerance and generosity. Through photography, I found an outlet to another personality within me, one perhaps hidden by the intensity of sporting competitiveness and suburban life.
Indian, Kenyan and Sri Lankan cultures, for example, seemed to remind me of my youth in South Africa. My dad was interested in conservation and open spaces where I was exposed to wildlife and the culture and texture of rural existence.
They say you can never get Africa out of you and I can attest to that. I left South Africa at 15 after being awarded a sports scholarship to Harrow school. This was my first singular but harsh step towards following a real ambition of wanting to emulate my grandfather Denis in playing cricket for England. A tough ask!
Somehow I achieved this and in doing so I enjoyed some great, amazing moments. Cricket, representing Somerset, Middlesex and England, took me far and wide. But amidst these travels, slowly but surely, my African life returned. I found visual energy, a real excitement. I seemed to jump at these warm, colourful, unpretentious, textured lives.
My Leica camera demands such focus from me. It draws out such a desire to capture the unfamiliar. Inevitably, this is taking me out into Wilderness; treasuring wildlife and landscapes seemingly unaffected by wealth and development.
This is my story so far.