13 June, 2016
What’s the most important thing to know about you?
I live to live in the moment.
How do you come up with ideas?
My ideas usually come from a specific moment, from something as simple as a poignant conversation, seeing beautiful light or reading something inspiring. An idea can come at any given time, like a spark it ignites a myriad of visuals after which I conceptualise and research to expand it.
You have mentioned that your work is an exploration of the human condition. What have you discovered and how does it affect that way you work now and the subjects you choose to work with?
I have always considered my practice somewhat of an introspection of myself. It’s through my work that I engage with ideas of what it means to be human and in turn ask questions about who I am. As a white South African working out of South Africa, finding the right voice at the moment is tricky. Socially, there are a lot of questions being asked around the idea of privilege and colonial mentality, so being sensitive to how I portray the people I photograph is paramount.
Your work spans a huge range of cultures and locations. Are locations an intrinsic part of the creative act?
My choice of locations is definitely a considered part of the way I work. Its meaning varies from project to project. For instance in my Kwaai Girls series, all the locations were chosen by the women I photographed. I wanted them to be in a space where they felt the most comfortable and could express themselves, whereas in the series, Atlantis and The Dance, I deliberately chose surreal locations to give the work a dreamlike aesthetic that disconnects the viewer from reality.
What is your favourite part of the creative process?
I really enjoy dreaming up and conceiving ideas. When I find an idea that really sticks, the need to create it becomes overwhelming. It’s almost like an itch at the back of my mind and I can’t relax until the idea is realized.
What photoshoot has had the most personal impact for you?
It’s difficult to say, as I mentioned before, every project I do has some form of introspection. I feel like they all impact me in different ways.
What photographers do you most admire?
There are so many; I love the aesthetic and the eye of Viviane Sassen, the honesty of Nan Goldin, the bravery of Francesca Woodman and the sheer brilliance of David Goldblatt, to name a few.
Do you have a Muse? If so, in what ways does it influence your work?
My muse is South Africa. The people, landscape and the diversity are what inspire me. It’s where I come from and is at the core of who I am – it guides my identity. There is a palpable social change happening here at the moment and to be around this energy is invigorating.