2015 - 2021
Sullivan’s documentation of wildfires found its inception in the Western Cape province of South Africa in 2015. He has since become a fully trained wildland firefighter at ‘Crew Leader’ status. Sullivan’s training allows him to access fire lines all over the country, including being able to reach inaccessible areas in the mountains via Helicopter.
Sullivan has filmed and photographed more than 80 fires across the country, using his work to promote environmental conservation. As he continues to document wildfires, he’s set on expanding his portfolio to cover fires across the world, identifying the global problem of climate change and the importance of Fire Prevention and Awareness.
Fees Must Fall
2015 - 2016
#FeesMustFall was a student-led movement that began mid-October 2015 in South Africa. The goals of the movement included an end to increased student fees as well as to raise government funding of universities.
As protests erupted across the country in late 2015 and early 2016, Sullivan spent weeks traversing between various Western Cape Universities documenting both the unrest and peaceful gatherings.
The movement served as a critical pillar in South African history, resulting in a monumental shift in both thinking and action. Sullivan attempted to frame conflicting ideologies within the context of his images and was met with a fair amount of controversy and backlash.
On 11 March 2017, a large fire ravaged through the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in Cape Town, South Africa, killing four people. A total of 2194 informal dwellings were destroyed, and over 9700 people were displaced.
Over 170 firefighters drawn from across the City of Cape Town's Fire and Rescue Services battled for over 13.5 h to put out the fire. The efforts by firefighters to tackle the fire were hampered by several factors among them, inaccessible or narrow driveways, the absence of sufficient water supply in the area, and certain community interactions.
Read the Fire Spread Analysis here
The Last Horn
The Last Horn is a collection of 12 impactful images that depict the efforts to save the African Rhinoceros species from poaching through dehorning operations. I
n the past decade, the number of poaching incidents in Africa has significantly increased, putting immense pressure on reserves and leading to the brutal killing of nearly 10,000 rhinos. While dehorning has proven to be effective in preventing poaching to a certain extent, the constantly evolving landscape of desperation, corruption, and evil has started to undermine the progress made so far.
It is clear that dehorning alone is not a viable long-term solution, and conservation efforts must adopt more progressive approaches
Sullivan spent 10 blissful days exploring Lesotho. Known as the Kingdom of the Sky, this magnificent mountain valley stands 2161 metres above sea level, harbouring unprecedented views and rugged escarpments. And with about 300 days of sunshine a year, the awe-inspiring beauty is never covered. Lesotho’s natural abundance seems to know no bounds. Crystal clear water, which the locals call ‘White Gold,’ flows through the veins of the country, feeding into cascading waterfalls that punctuate the otherwise hushed expanse of grassland.
Sullivan’s first three days were spent traveling with local photographer Justice Kalebe, before embarking on a seven day horseback trip through the isolated valleys of Semonkong. Here, Sullivan was accompanied by two local guides, five horses, and the vast, unscathed landscape. The adventure was filled with significant land and self-exploration, as well as photography development.
2017 - 2018
Hangberg is a coastal village nestled on the slopes of the Atlantic Seaboard, adjacent to Hout Bay in South Africa. Despite its idyllic location, the community has long faced significant challenges, including systemic injustices, oppression, violence, and crime.
Over the years, the people of Hangberg have persistently battled against a range of internal and external factors that threaten their well-being. These struggles have often culminated in clashes with law enforcement officers, as captured in a series of images that depict the community's protests over issues such as service delivery, unemployment, fishing quotas, and crime.
2014 - 2020
While travelling through Germany, Sullivan captured his exploration using his phone camera. This ignited his passion for photography and spurred him to purchase his first Nikon camera in Cologne.
On his return to South Africa, he began taking pictures of nature and urban landscapes. Fuelling his new-found passion, Sullivan’s career quickly unfolded when he photographed his first Wildfire in March 2015.
After realising the immense impact imagery could have, Sullivan started free lancing, mainly covering corporate and entertainment events while documenting wildfires and other current affairs on the side. This 'Inspiration' album represents a passage through time of an unforgettable journey that continues to evolve every year.