Beyond the skin she inhabits
Project info

We see a photograph of a young woman and the overwhelming value judgement we make is still based on physical appearance. “You were so beautiful”. I felt compelled to imbue my mom’s “beautiful” face with all the complexities and substance that make this tiny woman formidable. Setting aside her connection and value to me as my mother, I view her as a woman navigating this world that wasn’t built for a fiercely intelligent woman born into an apartheid South Africa suffused with patriarchy, marrying the wrong man and giving up a scholarship to study in Paris. And yet she has navigated the hell out of this world.
Within my work my interest lies within subverting the norm of portraiture by making portraits instead of taking portraits. The notion of time in relation to living, in conjunction with photography's capabilities as a medium, is important in my work. I wanted to access my mom’s complexity through her face. To foreground and externalise her lively, scarred and wise interior.