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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

A Celebration of All Things Canine: Dogs, by Tim Flach and Lewis Blackwell

Dog GodsDogs, by Tim Flach and Lewis Blackwell is a celebration of our affection for man’s best friend:

The human-dog relationship has continually evolved and continues to forge new functions and forms – so the very meaning of dogs is constantly being rewritten. Humankind’s assigning of tasks to dogs has played a significant part in our own ability to thrive over thousands of years.

No other mammal is so diverse in form, function or value. The celebration of love for all things canine can in many ways be attributed to our own self-love. We have dogs because they help us and we shape them to our own needs – most obviously by breeding them and altering their function or form at a fundamental genetic level. By looking very closely at what we have now, we may understand dogs better and in turn, understand ourselves.

About the author

Lewis Blackwell has worked as a leading author, editor, and creative director in photography, winning international recognition for his talks, exhibitions, and books. Blackwell is the author of the bestselling The Life and Love of Trees, The Life and Love of Cats, The Life and Love of Dogs, and Rainforest. He was for many years the creative head of Getty Images, the world’s largest photographic agency, and prior to that was editor in chief and publisher of Creative Review magazine. He now combines his work in the photographic industry with pro bono work in environmental areas.

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Don’t Miss Ranjith Kally’s Memory Against Forgetting Photographic Exhibition at the Shared History Festival

Memory Against ForgettingThe annual Shared History Festival will close this year with an exhibition of the work featured in Memory Against Forgetting, a solo collection that chronicles the work of Ranjith Kally, on September 25.

Kally is one of South Africa’s most prolific and important photojournalists, and his work offers a first-hand, on-the-ground perspective of a country in upheaval. The collection features images from pivotal historic moments and landmark political events, as well as portraits.

Kally’s work has appeared at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and at the Nobel Peace Center Commemoration of South African Nobel Peace Laureates in 2009. Kally worked at Drum, alongside such distinguished names as Jürgen Schadeburg, Alf Khumalo and Ernest Cole.

Don’t miss the chance to see it for yourself!

About the festival:

Shared History, which has become a regular feature on the South African cultural scene, is an annual festival which showcases the best of contemporary arts and culture from the Indian subcontinent in South Africa, in a way which explores the shared artistic bond and cultural history of the two countries and their recent pasts. Begun in 2007, the festival is brought to the country in collaboration with the High Commission of India in South Africa and is presented over a period of 4-6 weeks, usually between the months of August to October. The hallmark of the festival has always been its focus on dazzling events in the genre of Music, Dance, Theatre and Literature – but increasingly these have been overlaid with additions such as Yoga, Food, Handicrafts, Textiles and Comedy.

Event Details

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Kom beleef Mandela en die 21 Icons se nalatenskap by die 21 Jaar van Vryheid-uitstalling in Bloemfontein

21 IconsDie 21 Jaar van Vryheid-uitstalling het onlangs geopen in die Johannes Stegmann-galery op die Universiteit van die Vrystaat se Bloemfontein-kampus.

Elretha Britz berig vir Netwerk24 oor hierdie foto- en rolprentuitstalling wat sal plaasvind tot 18 September 2015. Die geleentheid vorm deel van Kovsies se Arts4Social Justice-week en is gegrond op fotograaf Adrian Steirn se 21 Icons-projek en die gepaardgaande koffietafelboek, 21 Icons.

Die ikoniese skrywer en vryheidsvegter Zubeida Jaffer was die gasspreker op die openingsaand op Woensdag, 12 Augustus.

Lees die artikel vir meer oor die projek en uitstalling:

Die projek is die geesteskind van die fotograaf en rolprentmaker Adrian Steirn wie se enigste bron van inspirasie Mandela is.

Met hom as vertrekpunt het Steirn ’n hele reeks foto’s geneem van Suid-Afrikaners wat Mandela se nalatenskap uitgebou het en ook gehelp het om “die toekoms van die land te vorm”, hetsy op ’n plaaslike of internasionale vlak en ongeag of dit op maatskaplike, politieke, omgewings- of artistieke gebied is.

Lees ook:



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Find out More About Africanismo: Interior Inspiration from Southern Africa by Siobhan Gunning

AfricanismoAfricanismo: Interior Inspiration from Southern Africa by Siobhan Gunning celebrates the creativity and ingenious resourcefulness borne out of our continent, presenting the reader with an embrace of the spirits of all those who live in southern Africa and the creativity the region inspires.

“There are loads of adjectives that can be used to describe Southern African design in all it’s forms. Resourceful, diverse, creative, inventive, ingenious. Africanismo focuses on interiors in Southern Africa and what struck me most while paging through the book was the diversity,” art worker Vicki Smith writes about this new book.

View photographs from Africanismo and read more about what the author and photographer Craig Fraser captured between the beautiful bright covers:


Of course, Africa is known for it’s ingenuity. This has been proven time and time again by many a Land Rover that has broken down in the middle of nowhere, only to have a local “mechanic” create a substitute car part out of a wire coat-hanger and some gum MacGuyver style and wave them on as they continue their journey. This creativeness and inventiveness abounds in the more rural areas where people use the materials most readily available to them, making for a unique and beautiful aesthetic.

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The Premiere of the 21 Icons Documentary Promise of Freedom Provides Insight for Hope and Optimism

21 IconsThe 21 Icons documentary Promise of Freedom was premiered in mid-April at an event attended by a number of the 42 icons who were profiled in seasons one and two.

The book 21 Icons and the various surrounding projects are the brainchild of photographer Adrian Steirn, who set up to capture the spirit and soul of South Africa by photographing some of our iconic heroes.

The documentary gives a fuller picture of the extraordinary individuals, providing “insight into the hope and optimism of these icons.”

The Citizen featured an article on the premiere:

Shot entirely in black and white, like the photo series by founder Adrian Steirn (who was unable to attend the screening), the hour-long documentary took guests behind the scenes with actress Sandra Prinsloo, businessman Herman Mashaba, soccer legend Lucas Radebe, gold medallist Olympian Zanele Situ and former speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala.

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Excerpt: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Writes a Moving Forward to 21 Icons

21 Icons21 Icons was launched in Johannesburg recently with photographer Adrian Steirn and legendary storyteller Gcina Mhlophe. The 21 Icons project is currently in its second season and celebrates the lives of the men and women who strive to make South Africa a better place. The multimedia project was pioneered by Steirn and with his dedicated team the project has captured the lives of heroes like Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Gcina Mhlophe, Hugh Masekela, Herman Mashaba, Nadine Gordimer and many more. During the launch at Love Books Steirn said the coffee table book is the analogue version of the project.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu wrote in the forward of 21 Icons: “Through his special lens, Adrian captures not only the wonderful faces of men and women who inspire others, but also the essence of Ubuntu latent in the spirits, smiles and efforts of these people.”

Read Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s forward, shared by 21 Icons:

In pursuit of ubuntu

I come from a beautiful land, richly endowed by God with wonderful natural resources, wide expanses, rolling mountains, singing birds, bright shining stars out of blue skies, with radiant sunshine, golden sunshine. Today it is free, thanks, in large part, to the efforts of a single person.
    Never before in history was one human being so universally acknowledged in his lifetime, as the embodiment of magnanimity and reconciliation, as was Nelson Mandela. He set aside the bitterness of enduring twenty-seven years in apartheid prisons – and the weight of centuries of colonial division, subjugation and repression – to personify the spirit and practice of ubuntu. He perfectly understood that people are dependent on other people in order for individuals and society to prosper; that we are people through other people.
    We can’t be fully human alone. We are made for interdependence, we are made for family. Indeed, my humanity is caught up in your humanity and, when your humanity is enhanced, mine is enhanced as well. Likewise, when you are dehumanised, inexorably, I am dehumanised as well. As an individual, when you have ubuntu you embrace others. You are generous, compassionate. If the world had more ubuntu, we would not have war. We would not have this huge gap between the rich and the poor. You are rich so that you can make up what is lacking for others. You are powerful so that you can help the weak, just as a mother or father helps their children. This is what Mandela knew.
    The twenty-seven years spent in the belly of the apartheid beast deepened Madiba’s compassion and capacity to empathise with others. Like a most precious diamond honed deep beneath the surface of the Earth, the Madiba who emerged from prison, in February 1990, was virtually flawless. Instead of calling for his pound of flesh, he proclaimed the message of forgiveness and reconciliation, inspiring others,
by his example, to extraordinary acts of nobility of spirit.
    There were many occasions when South Africa’s fate appeared touch and go. But catastrophe was avoided. Instead, the world marvelled – indeed, was awed – by the spectacle of long lines of South Africans of every race slowly snaking their way to the polling booths on 27 April 1994.
    Of course, part of the success of South Africa’s transition was due to a miracle: the moral colossus that was Nelson Mandela. His calm and sagacity, and his status as an icon of forgiveness, compassion, magnanimity and reconciliation, make us the envy of every nation on earth. We are blessed that it was he who guided our state through its rebirth. And we must also thank FW de Klerk, the last ruler of the dying apartheid regime, who exhibited moral courage by setting in motion our liberating revolution.
    But ordinary South Africans can also be proud of themselves, for it was truly their self-discipline, simple decency and ability to forgive that prevented a blood bath. In their example is a model for other troubled parts of the world to follow.
    Inspired by Madiba’s great legacy, photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn, together with creative director Harriet Pratten, established the 21 Icons project when visiting South Africa from Australia. Today, they too call our glorious country ‘home’. Like many global friends of our nation, they have joined hands with us in an extraordinary commitment to supporting the journey of building South Africa. Through his special lens, Adrian captures not only the wonderful faces of men and women who inspire others, but also the essence of ubuntu latent in the spirits, smiles and efforts of these people.
    The 21 Icons project is indeed a gift to our nation on the occasion of the twentieth year since achieving our hard-earned democracy, one that reflects the charm, humility and sincerity of South Africa’s remarkable people. It reminds us that South Africa is a nation of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. One of my favourite portraits, among all the beautiful work captured here, is Madiba’s photograph. Like him, we must each hold the mirror to our face and truly look at ourselves. We must reflect without judgment, but with compassion, forgiveness and love. We must look at ourselves, embracing all that we are in order to be more tolerant of others. We must believe with conviction – as have Madiba and I throughout our lives – in a brighter future for South Africa; in the capacity of its people to create positive change; and in the extraordinary power of collective effort.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

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Podcast: Ed Suter Shares Tips on Taking Street Style Photographs

Sharp SharpPhotographer Ed Suter, author of Sharp Sharp: South Africa Street Style, and Elle magazine editor Jackie Burger were interviewed by Bailey Schneider on 2Oceans Vibe about the Elle Style Reporter competition 2013. The goal of the competition is to “discover a young and inspiring style reporter”.

Suter, who will mentor the winner, said they are “not looking for someone who has a lot of experience, but someone who has a lot of energy and a strong point of view, someone who is really excited by this kind of thing”.

Suter gave some tips on photographing strangers on the street, saying that you need to think very clearly and quickly how you want to compose the photograph, because it’s not just about the person you’re photographing, but also the environment in which they are captured. “It’s not easy. You need a lot of confidence,” he said.

Listen to the podcast:

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“A Celebration of Individuals”: Ed Suter Discusses Sharp Sharp at Open Design Cape Town

Ed Suter

Sharp Sharp, South AfricaAfter a trip to London and New York a few years ago, photographer Ed Suter, on returning to South Africa, looked anew at the vibrancy of our local cities. He started taking photos of uniquely South African signs, such as hand-painted barbershop signs and the specials in butcher windows, graffiti, and lettering on taxis. While scouring the streets for these undervalued works of art, Suter also started to snap pedestrians whose unique way of dressing struck him.

This is how his book Sharp Sharp, showcasing these photos, was born, explained Suter in discussion with Loretta de Goede, creative director of Elle and Elle Decoration at Open Design Cape Town. Suter screened a short documentary of this work process and projected a slideshow of the street style photos for the intimate crowd, who eagerly engaged with the artist.

Although Suter’s photos were to a degree inspired by street fashion blogs, he was not so much interested in photographing fashionable clothing or what was trendy or “in season” at the time. Rather, he wanted to capture individuals, with their own style. “What makes the cities of South Africa great is the people, the individuals. In a way Sharp Sharp is celebration of individuals,” Suter said.

The complete environment of the individual is also important in Suter’s photos. He specifically did not want to take photos in malls. “When you are in Canal Walk you could be anywhere in world. You don’t get the flavour of South Africa.”

Suter was also looking for a certain confidence in his subjects. They were people who did not need too much convincing to pose for a photo. “I learned early on that if you had to spend a lot of time trying to convince someone to pose, the photo never worked anyway.”

In addition to their stylishness, people’s cultures, religions, and nationalities (in the case of immigrants) stand out in the way they dress in these photos. There are a couple of photos of the style-setting Smarteez of Soweto, who agreed that Suter could follow them around and see exactly where they get the fabric for the clothes they design.

Suter revealed that his next photographic project will focus on fabric, for example people wrapped in material and documenting a trader from the Congo’s journey with his fabrics. The Sharp Sharp event at Open Design ended with a lively discussion between Suter and the many design enthusiasts in the audience.

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Carolyn Meads tweeted live from the event using #livebooks:

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Ed Suter Chats About Exploring New Places Through a Viewfinder

Sharp SharpEd Suter chatted to SA Home Owner Magazine about how he got started in photography at eight years old when his grandparents gave him a camera and told him to record his home and life. Since then he has been doing just that, especially when he went travelling where “everything looked and felt so different that seeing everything through a viewfinder only intensified the experience”.

Suter commented that he likes to photograph the world that surrounds him in the city and to “emphasise colour, graphics and patterns” and said that his ideal photographic experience is to wake up early in a foreign city and get lost, taking photos along the way.

Ed Suter is fast becoming one of the most recognised street style photographers in South Africa. Known for capturing the energy and vitality of individuals from all walks of life, Ed’s book Sharp Sharp, celebrates the very best of South African culture and design, and his range of placemats and coasters depict quirky, tongue-in-cheek prints.

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Ed Suter Discusses Sharp Sharp and His Love of Johannesburg (Plus: Video)

Sharp SharpPhotographer Ed Suter, whose Sharp Sharp: South Africa Street Style has the photographic and fashion industry talking, recently chatted to City Sightseeing South Africa about his work.

Suter explains how he approached people on the street in order to photograph them for the book:

What is it about the South African people and their street style that inspires you?

I am inspired by colour, pattern and energy. I like the fact that South African street style is a real hybrid of tradition, regional influences, African and European influences and a healthy dose of boldness and fun. I was struck by the bright colours, bold prints and great fabrics on the streets of South Africa after living for years in London where it was unusual to see that.

In a video for Mr Price Home Suter shows us his house and discusses some of the pictures he’s taken and artwork he has collected over the years.

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