The root of exploration is our need for connection.
How do we relate to ourselves? And how do we place ourselves in relation to the world?
An exploration of self usually circles around looking inward, as well as observing outward.
We need to allow for our thoughts, feelings, and desires to find their true voice.
This is impacted by both what came before us, and what remains in our surrounds.
Sikhokhele embodies the “us”, and provides a temporary identity for these questions to cling onto.
This is her journey of exploration, of connection. She moves organically into sleek shapes; allowing her to be one
with the natural backdrops. We see strong stances, and deep eye contact, but the atmosphere remains soft and still.
These moments of pause submerge us in reflection. Even the ego sits, mesmerised by the tranquillity.
Where do our origins lead us? What do we absorb from outer inputs?
Where do we lay in between the before, the now, and the oncoming?
And – how does our position transform?
Alexander presents us with both intimacy, and wholeness.
We are eyes to a lens looking in; onto emotion, light effect and stylistic detail. And then we are backed up to frame nature; and we are shown where Sikhokhele, who depicts the “us”, sits within the bigger picture. Fischer uses line and shape to form balance; spread arms and claps into negative space, and imbalance; resting branches and tilted angles.
We are also struck by her intentional use of light to paint a narrative; from beams across the face to shadow play.
Traditions, and cultural expectations, have been seen as more solid and untouchable aspects; in the name of respect, and the will to keep sacred practices, and ideals, breathing.
As strong individualism has continued to rise; there is more opportunity to find where we see modernism,
and traditionalism meeting. When this is done with understanding and consideration, we can reach a harmony between the two, and fresh outlooks can surface.
Tsepiso offers the stage to tradition through pattern and colour, while creating a modern ensemble through his styling;
by using interesting ways to wrap fabric, unusual pairings, and accessories.
We feel the appreciation of the bold roots, and see the complimentary value of Seema’s vision.
Traditions cannot lay stagnant, as this is where they shall stay.
The teachings must be continued; one cannot truly reframe something that one does not fully comprehend.
And we do not want to lose traditions through adaption.
But, if we could rejuvenate interest in learning about tradition, through expression that credits influence, as well as relates more naturally; this is a cycle that could both protect tradition, and better understand its relation to our present.
Inge’s use of line, colour and texture reiterate the feeling of a moment frozen in time.
The vibrancy of the makeup highlights, rather than overwhelms. She is evident in the images; her brush strokes loud, her colour contrasting. Yet, the aesthetic remains subtle within the compositions.
As conscious beings, we have no choice in our subjectivity.
We see things according to the way our paths have carved our viewfinders. But, we do have choice in where we choose to look. We may be the product of our environments; but we too have control over how and where our production line deploys our product. We have much more say in our impact than we sometimes believe.
To be more, we have to look to what we lack; and to where we can learn from those who have come before us.