In 2006 Buckland exhibited images of the building of the Constitutional Court of South Africa together with portraits of ‘unsung’ heroes from construction sites in two remote areas – Shayamoya in Kokstad and Somkhele in Matubatuba.
Most of the images from the BUILDING exhibition are selected images from her contribution to ‘Light on a Hill: Building the Constitutional Court of South Africa’ by David Krut Publishing. Also included were images from other building projects and portrait studies of construction-site workers from Shayamoya and Somkhele.
This exhibition was the first time Buckland exhibited her commissioned work. It marked a shift from the exploration of the personal to the documentation of public space.
The building site images are described as highly atmospheric. Her introduction of the portraits of builders into this series is a deliberate strategy intended to remind the viewer of the less than glamorous aspects involved in the construction process. Buckland does not pose her subjects but seeks to portray them as honestly as possible against a backdrop of their working environment. Buckland’s portraits subtly allude to the contrasts between a celebrated public building and the anonymity of low-income builders who make these projects possible.
Her photographs of the Constitutional Court go deeper than mere superficial documentation by focusing on elements of the building that make clear its past and memories but, simultaneously, its ability to transcend all of this to become a symbol of hope for all South Africans.