GRAEME WILLIAMS PAINTING OVER THE PRESENT
photos DR Graeme Williams
In 1989 Graeme Williams was contracted by Reuters to cover South Africa’s transition to ANC rule. In 1991 he began to contribute his photographs to the Southern African documentary collective, Afrapix and later went on to become a founder member and manager of South Photographs Agency.
Since the late 80s he has worked on his own photographic projects, at times exhibiting and publishing the completed works.
His work is housed in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian (USA), The South African National Gallery, The Rotterdam Museum of Ethnology, Duke University (USA), The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, The Finnish School of Photography, Oxfam and Anti-Apartheid Movement in Belgium, Cape Town University, as well as the BHP Billiton Collection and the AngloGold Ashanti Collection.
He has staged solo exhibitions in Johannesburg, New York and Paris and have contributed to many combined exhibitions including the 2011 Figures and Fictions exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.He has also contributed to a number of publications showcasing photography in South Africa and around the world. One of the more recent publications is the Then and Now project (book, film and exhibition), which focuses on eight South African photographers who have contributed to South Africa’s photographic heritage, both before and after the 1994 transition to democracy.
His first book, The Floor, documents the last year of open outcry trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, while the second book, The Inner City, is an exploration of isolation captured through images of Johannesburg as it struggled to adjust to the changing social and political climate. Most recently, Editions de L’Ceil (Paris) has published a monograph of his work.
Photographic assignments have taken him to over forty countries and his photographs have been published in major publications worldwide, including National Geographic Magazine, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine and Photography magazine (UK).
His last Work unveils the environments occupied by some of South Africa’s poorest people. A harsh reality where we discover that even after that power have shifted hands since the first democratic elections in 1994, many of the benefits of these shifts have failed to profit to the locals.
The photographs focus on the interiors and exteriors of people’s homes. They are intentionally static in their composition in order to accentuate the minutiae of the occupants’ day-to-day dwelling places.
The bright colours captured in these photographs act as visual trinkets to momentarily distract the viewer from deeper harsh realities. However, although they encourage denial, they are also suggestive of resilience, hope and, sense of humanity that remains in these poverty-stricken communities. These photographs were taken in small towns, townships and cities throughout South Africa.
A remarquable work we invite you to discover dear UFFP readers an hommage to the dignity and courage of these forgotten and yet so alive populations of our Continent.
To discover in live the work of this artist go to the Vernissage
Vernissage // jeudi 25 Oct // KijK galerie // GRAEME
WILLIAMS – Painting over the Present