Don Maxwell Searll

“Exploring the technology of art, and the art of technology”
Don Maxwell Searll is an artist who uses digital technology as his preferred medium. Don believes technology defines the natural evolution of art. As technology has evolved, so Don’s art has evolved with it. In fact, Don has pioneered five artistic technologies namely: , Virtual Reality, Holography, Stereoscopic film, Computer graphics, Laser graphics and  Infra-red photography.

He has many solo exhibitions and publications with art works in private collections, including the contemporary gallery at Ellerman House which showcases one of the most important private art collections in South Africa in Cape Town. he was involved in various collaborative art exhibitions with some contemporary artists such as: Norman Catherine, Willem Boshoff, Dylan Lewis, Wayne Barker, Kendle Gears, etc.

Through the Wilderness Exhibition a collaboration between Don and Dylan Lewis the sculptor, the miracles of life were evoked. One show staged at L’Ormarins and the other at Sandton Convention Centre. Don also exhibited at the Johannesburg Computer Art Fair under the curatorships of the Everard Read Contemporary gallery.

More recently he collaborated with Wayne Barker in a show called Muse Room where they explored the female form utilising 3D stereoscopic projections.

He was part of a joint exhibition in Melbourne Australia at the Fehily Contemporary gallery with a show called “Reflections of Melbourne in 3D”

Don continues to innovate at the frontier of art. He has always believed that integrating the medium and the message makes for powerful communication. His latest developments in 3D art have been with S3D & auto stereoscopic displays. Don is continually exploring the art of technology and the technology of art.

3D is the wave of the future, and the future has finally arrived”. Don M. Searll

Internationally, Don has developed a reputation as a world leader in 3D technology and computer animation. In 2005 and again in 2009 he was commissioned to conceptualize, produce, and direct a 3D film for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca Cola. Together with Ignition USA staged this production in 85 countries and 54 cities around the world reaching more than 500,000 consumers. The audience response to the 3D experience was phenomenal across all continents.

In 1993 he returned to SA  had a one man show called “Virtual Haptics” this was a retro and post perspective. The show had more than 10, 000 people in 1 week and included: photographs, holograms, laser sculpture, stereo video and virtual reality installations. He collaborated in the Millennium gallery Show with Willem Boshoff.

In 1990 Don was commissioned by De Beers London to produce a holographic portrait of the Centenary diamond, one of less than 50 holographic portraits created in the world at that time.

A particular highlight in Don’s career was when he directed and produced, the 1991 3D music video for rock musician SEAL called ‘KILLER’. This hit single won two British Music Industry Gold medals at the 1992 BMI Awards – for Best Music Video of the year and for Technical Excellence. It is now featured at the Museum of Rock Video in Piccadilly as one of the top ten music videos of that decade.

In 1983 Don immigrated to Australia where he produced and directed for one of the largest animation companies in Australia “Sonicvision”.  Here he produced and directed station identifications for Channels 7, 9 & 10, plus count down for Molly Meldrum and international commercials, some of these productions winning international awards.

1976 he began delving into lasers and holograms and had an exhibition called, ‘Holy Holos Beams and Clocks’ at the Media and Change Symposium at Wits University, this sparked the interest of the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) who then facilitated Don in building a holographic laboratory to produce holographic images up to 20” x 24” in size. This led to the making of the Hologram of the Taung Skull with Professor Tobias which was featured on the National Geographic cover in 1985.

In parallel he produced the highly successful Laserama laser shows in the planetarium, with Dr. Tom Geary. These splendid multimedia laser art shows ran for 3 years. This was followed by commercial laser multimedia presentations for “Battlestar Galactica” and the “Star Trek” launch which included the early moving holograms.

During this time Don collaborated with many contemporary artists including: Norman Catherine, Richard Smith, Mike Costello and Louis Leseur.

Don excelled in computer graphics animation and embarked on a long illustrious international career, producing and directing award winning 3D computer graphic animations.

In 1975 Don held his first successful photographic exhibition at Hyde Park, opened by John Brett Cohen, a leading photojournalist.