The interdisciplinary studies in Publishing Media with Fine Art at Oxford Brookes University encouraged me to think through new, creative perspectives. I also gained a variety skills, such as writing analytically, professionally and subjectively.
As an art practitioner in my own respect, I have gained a better theoretical understanding of the social context of my art. It comes with a recognition of self-identity and as a reaction to the environment that I am in at the time, especially after having settled in three different countries of Zambia, Canada and then the United Kingdom. I want to explore deeper into the studies of the post-colonial art world, specifically photography.
In 2015 I completed a photography residency in Cape Town for the Month of Photography (MOP) festival, working under photographer and mentor Jenny Altschuler whose teaching was invaluable to my photography and my understanding of photography in South Africa. This project was sparked after wanting to create a book that linked the academic and an artistic response to the development of South African Photography and it’s representation of South African subjects. I was also inspired by books such as the collaborative piece ‘Darkroom: Photography and New media in South Africa since 1950’ and ‘Figures and Fiction ‘ by Tamar Gabb, as well as Photographers that I had the privilege of meeting such as David Goldblatt, Graeme Williams and Terry Kurgan.
‘Peripheral Visions’ was produced in collaboration with a fellow student, a black box containing two book volumes, one book on interviews with self-publishing South African artists and the other (mine) photographers living and working in South Africa. My volume presents seven discussions with established and respected Documentary and Contemporary Fine Art photographers in South Africa (Photographers listed at the bottom of PDF). Each conversation concerns the state of South Africa 21 years into democracy, the role of the photographer in consideration of the themes of new identity, daily life and unconventional approach to photography in this specific environment.
Alongside the interviews are my visual artist responses showing our journey conducted over a period of 6 days in Cape Town, 35 hours on the Shosholoza train and 5 days in Johannesburg. I was able to collate great primary research for my project by meeting the photographers and getting their words in a way that allowed for honest and personal responses that made the project more intimate for readers.
I was fully committed to this project from meeting my photographers, presenting the sensitivities of their words, linking them with my own work and designing the book to something that was crafted and held with care. I wanted to really engage the theoretical and practical side of this project.
I was able to demonstrate my ability to create a final project that satisfied the separate needs of each course. Engaging with skills such as curating, composing, visual translation, transcribing and learned to put the written and visual in a working juxtaposition against each other. I worked coherently with a fellow student, Emma Williams, we advised each other throughout the process to ensure each had the best result possible. Our tumblr page shows our posts throughout the year of 2015, prior to our visit to South Africa, this blog was also watched by people we met and interviewed (http://artandprintsouthafrica.tumblr.com/ ).
Recently I became an intern for the children’s radio foundation, due to their work on youth empowerment through radio, which fascinated me so much and have already started connecting with fellow young reporters who believe in using media to help raise awareness on issues that affect them such as HIV/AIDS awareness, gender issues, violence and climate change for example.
Photography is my passion, and I want to learn to use it as a tool for social art and talk about under-represented social issues. I am constantly learning the practical side of it but want to continue the theoretical understanding of the important role of photography and art in Africa. I value the teachings of mentors and others to help develop my work and understanding.
Current Project: http://artandprintsouthafrica.tumblr.com/
Glyndbourne tour art competitioin 2014: