PORTRAIT SHOW 2021
“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” Susan Sontag
Over the last couple of years we’ve participated in a collective reflection on life, death, and everything in between. Experiencing the loss of so many lives across the world, some as close as our own homes and communities; together we’ve entered into forced consideration of what it means to be alive at present, the fragility of human life, and the fleeting nature of our physical existence.
The time spent reflecting on our relationships to other human beings, whether physical, socio-psychological, economic or otherwise, has heightened our awareness of our common humanity and mortality, as that which connects us all - regardless of the diversity of beliefs, experiences, social systems and geographies which seemingly separate us. Beyond the confines of culture and geographical borders, exists a common need to visualise the relationship between ourselves and others, for it is always our deep connections to other beings which drive and shape our earthly experience.
And now, as we stare at the flattened surfaces of our human existence, we are reminded of both the triumphs and failures of photography, in its ability to both reveal and miss the very thing we are trying to explain.
Ghosts in the Township, Katlehong, 2019
Ghosts In The Township shines the light to the unemployed youth of South Africa particularly those from the township that are seen as not contributing to the society because of the lack of opportunities and resources. Ghosts In The Township aims to give hope and give recognition to those feeling neglected by the system. This work aims to start a conversations thatwill help create change in our societies.
Hloni Matjila was born in 1995 in Katlehong, East Johannesburg. In 2016, Matjila studied Film and Television at City Varsity, Johannesburg and has built a career in the film industry as a freelance camera operator. He studied a foundation course at The Market Photo Workshop in 2018, and in 2019 photographed a collaborative magazine cover with Ketumile Meso for Nice Magazine No 3 Katlehong Edition featuring his personal work called My Kasi Tour, in ongoing collaboration with Ketumile Meso and Ghosts In The Township in collaboration with Phindile Thengeni. In 2020, Matjila was included in Entanglements, a group exhibition at Afrovibes Festival in Amsterdam.
Healthy Bird, 2020
Edition: 5 + 2AP
A3 fine art prints for sale. Hahnemühle Photo Rag. R5,000 (50% percent of profits will be donated to Jungle Theatre, an non-profit that does theatre productions for children and young people on social, cultural, and environmental themes).
Mario Matiya plays the role of Bongi Bird in the Jungle Theatre play ‘Healthy Bird.’ The play teaches children about Covid-19 and the importance of healthy eating, social distancing, mask-wearing, and good hand hygiene. In 2020, Jungle Theatre performed the educational play at community kitchens in Vrygrond, an informal settlement. The kitchens have been providing meals to hundreds of people daily throughout the pandemic. The play kept those in line, young and old, entertained. This colourful bird character is a strong, graceful presence, educating and entertaining at a difficult time.
Brendon Bosworth is a self-taught photographer based in Cape Town. A large part of his work involves photographing everyday life at Muizenberg beach, an ongoing long-term project that incorporates aspects of street and documentary photography. His approach to photography is mindful and gentle with an openness to learning more about himself and the world around him. He is also interested in the way that photography can foster a connection to place that allows us to better understand how the natural world changes as a result of influences such as climate change.
His work has featured in exhibitions in South Africa and abroad.
Dorcas, Burnthouse Lane, UK 2020 from the series “Breathe”
Edition: Not editioned
I went into self-isolation on the 16th March 2020. In order to deal with this I documented - first with social isolation and then with lockdown - how people were managing private and public spaces during Covid on my daily walks in an historic neighboring area, Burnthouse Lane, close to where I live in the UK.
The image of Dorcas was taken in the back garden of her house. I had met her with her father and brother in the playing fields and he asked if I could take family photographs for his 40th birthday in their traditional Nigerian dress.
Michelle Sank was born in South Africa and settled in the UK in 1987. She cites this background as informing her interest in sub-cultures and the exploration of contemporary social issues and challenges. Her crafted portraits meld place and person creating sociological, visual and psychological landscapes and narratives. Her photographs have been exhibited, published and collected extensively both in SA and abroad. Sank has four published books, and has undertaken commissions and residencies for prominent galleries and magazines in Europe and the USA.
Edition: A4 1/3
Manon Weiser was born in 1982 and lives in the french Alps. Forever with her is the taste of forgotten memories, clinging from her past like loose threads from a frayed ball of yarn. Dark reminiscences ironically filled by absences and disappearances. Manon likes to go in search of traces, memories, often small footprints, bordering on the imperceptible, to explore the hidden corners of man that we consider dark and which we prefer to hide from our eyes, preferring to live in ignorant bliss. Through the lens, she tries to show what is fundamentally intangible and for this, chose to forego digital mediums in favor of more tangible and more palpable ones with the aim to evoke the rawest of human emotions. Manon’s work combines pinhole, ferrotype, etching, collage and embroidery; and the images aim to arouse a universal common denominator and in doing so they reveal a fragile beauty, that is often subtle and suggestive. But ultimately every beauty, and every emotion succumbs to the inevitable deterioration that strikes everything in this world without prejudice nor bias.
40 days of Darkness
NOT FOR SALE
Born and raised in Khartoum, Sudan in 1988, Metche Jaafar is an architect, freelance photographer and a visual storyteller with an interest in arts and culture. Influenced by the work of Mary Ellen Marks and many others, she fell in love with photojournalism and documentary photography. Through storytelling she explores history and heritage while documenting the social, political and women’s issues in Khartoum.
She was me
Edition: A4 1/3
Roderick Laka is a South African based photographer who has become obsessed with taking moments of life and telling stories through them. @roderick_laka
The SKIN DEEP project reflects on masks as well as on beauty, life and death.
Never have masks been so present in our lives as today. Though our masks act as a protection from death, none of these masks, unlike traditional masks, speak of beauty, of life or of the mysteries of initiatory transformation, including that of death. I was considering these things when I made this work.
It is common in Africa and elsewhere to cover the body or face with water and soil from the riverbanks to draw out impurities and leave the skin soft and beautiful. Beauty drawn from mud. Mud as a protection from toxins. Masks as a protection from eyes that stop at the face or skin and cannot see into the depths of our beings where we negotiate who we are from minute to minute. Masks more powerful than social masks which fall when put to the test. Masks that afford us the privacy to be ourselves. Masks under which we all, sons and daughters of the soil, have the same composition of skin and blood. We seek to find the balance between exposure and protection, just as the right balance between the soil and water is needed for plant life.
In the photography and development process, I concentrate on focus. Then the portrait emerges like a sculpture, the cracks an aesthetic feature highlighting unexpected pathways. There is sometimes an under layer of gold, the cracks then appearing inlaid as in broken Japanese pottery, where texture is valued as a sign of time and story. Asia is just as present in my work as Africa. I always knew that Asian stage masks allowed men to perform as women, for example, whereas the African face mask, as in white or red clay, will be a sign of being in a different state. The mask both covers and reveals, allowing us to develop ourselves while remaining fluid, as in Bruce Lee’s famous adage: “Be like water, my friend”.
Ntsako Nkuna is a South African multimedia artist currently based in Johannesburg. Her mixed media work incorporates various forms of photography and illustrations through digital manipulation, her work is influenced by the virtual realm and its relation to reality. She layers mediums and blurs the line between reality and fiction. She believes the digital realm is closely linked to the idea of dreamscapes, thus she explores complexities in human interaction and perceptions through dreamscapes.
Title:Pandemic Kidz, 2020
NOT FOR SALE
The image was spontaneous, and unplanned. The reason why I photographed this particular subject/person was purely out of an interest sparked by the times we are in, times of restriction, times of change and times of wearing masks. I mean who ever thought we would get to a time where even school kids would have to wear masks in order to go to school? In order to enter any premises for that matter.
Ogorogile Nong (b.1999) is a South African photographer from Soweto, Johannesburg. Nong completed the foundation and intermediate courses (2020/2021) at the Market Photo Workshop. In 2020 he was selected to be part of the Olaju Art Group based in San Antonio, USA, and was also selected to exhibit his series Pearl Daughters at the Perspectives From Within (PFW) exhibition.
Edition: 1/5 + 2AP
Price : R7500
This photograph is part of my ongoing long term project "Inner Journey " , about my struggle with mental illness ,self love, self acceptance and my struggle with gender identity .
Bongani Tshabalala is a South African artist, born and raised in Welkom, Free State. He is currently completing his National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at Central University Of Technology (CUT). He is a self-taught photographer and has been practicising since 2017. Bongani’s work is mostly inspired by experiences and feelings. In 2019 he won the public vote for the New Breed Art Competition at Oliewenhuis Art museum. He has participated in the online group exhibition Myopia at William Humphreys Art Gallery, and Lockdown with Free State Art Collective.
The two pictures presented are a part of the larger ongoing project 'Homeland'.
In between foreign travel, a number of months are spent each year roaming my home turf South Africa. It's a charming balance of home comfort while pushing myself to see the far reaches of the planet. Working on Homeland is akin to pulling on a favourite old sweater; the places and people are intertwined with my psyche, making the picture process feel more like a homecoming than a creative endeavour.
Guy Neveling’s fairly colourful photographic career began with him setting out as a press photographer in the mid 80’s documenting the demise of Apartheid South Africa. A while later, swinging the polar opposite; swopping riots, tear gas and rubber bullets for the more relaxed atmosphere of a photographic studio, he moved into advertising. Guy's work has achieved numerous awards at the various international advertising festivals that include D&AD and Cannes Lions, as well as work selected for the acclaimed Lurzers Archive, ‘200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide’. Guy now dedicates his time primarily to personal work and growth; continually nurturing his love for imagery.
Farren van Wyk
Price on request
The tattoo in Remo’s neck was an intentional way of showing his lifelong loyalty to the gang. However, as he grew as a person, he realised that the gang lifestyle is not always good. That did not make it easy to step out of the group that is considered to be family. Remo stayed quiet when I asked him if the was still part of the gang or not. Everyone else spoke about his battle of going in and out. With this portrait I wanted to think about the everlasting effect of a tattoo while people and intentions can change.
Farren van Wyk, born in 1993, is a South African and Dutch photographer and in the process of becoming a mentor. She graduated from the University of Arts (HKU) in 2016 where she received her BA degree in Photography after an extensive photography and research project with (ex-)gangsters in South African coloured communities in her hometown Port Elizabeth, trying to centralise coloured people with dignity and make this a normality. Farren has been living in The Netherlands for over twenty years and her dual nationality is the crux of her work. The centuries of white western domination that implemented colonisation, slave trade and the Dutch participation in apartheid is deeply ingrained in the landscape that she was born in. This historical and somewhat troubling relationship between these two countries that she calls home sparks a lot of questions that she tries to answer within her work. Most of the questions stay unanswered, which is also the beauty of the whole journey.
The intention of this portrait is to show individualism and self-expression through one's own fashion sense.
Laurence Moorcroft is a photographer and creative director based in South Africa. His centre of interest is mainly portrait, fashion & lifestyle photography. Since 2014 he has embraced this medium as a much needed creative outlet and discovered his passion. By freezing time, documenting culture and translating a narrative through pixels; he intends to empower, inspire and portray personalities in their best light.
Tired was shot at the peak of the COVID pandemic and during the lockdown. Many of us felt trapped and imprisoned in our own homes adjusting to this new normal. Also, we all felt the impact of being isolated and how it affects us mentally and physically, there was this cloud of feeling lethargic in which people globally felt was peculiar to them. So when creating this image, the intention was/is to let everyone know they weren't alone and that the tiredness they felt was being experienced globally.
Oladele Kaleef Lawal is a photographer and visual storyteller from Lagos, Nigeria who uses mainly portraits to express views on societal issues ranging from mental health, pollution, gender fluidity, culture and identity.
Simphiwe Majozi(b.1993) a photographer from Daveyton, East of Johannesburg. Between 2016 and 2017 he participated in the Ekhuruleni Art Development Program and, in 2018, completed his Foundation Course at Market Photo Workshop. In 2019 he joined the Narrative Course at the Through the Lens Collective for 6 months. Simphiwe was part of a student exhibition with the Ekurhuleni Art Development program in Springs Art Gallery ‘’BEYOND TEACHING II’’, 2018 and later in the same year, BodutuArt Gallery in Vaal University of Technology ‘’ART GOES BEYOND TEACHING II’’. In February 2020 he participated in ‘’The Portrait Show’’ Exhibition at Through the lens Collective.
Murray Williamson is a young South African photographer concerned with the phenomenology of the places he finds himself in. He creates work through experiencing the landscape, culture and people he interacts with. Evoking a “sense of place” through the ebb and flow of daily life is of most interest to him.