Category Archives: On other Photographers

A Book: Pierre et Gilles, Double Je 1976 – 2007

So, I love Pierre et Gilles’s photography. I’ve known their work since February of 2006 and it resonated with my own overly stylised aesthetic.

This beautiful book was a gift from my boyfriend in 2009, I think he ordered it online for me, they can be found on Amazon and a bunch of other online similar platforms.

Amazon’s apt description of the book reads:

Kings of cult and pop

Pierre et Gilles create dreamy portraits that transport their subjects–as well as the viewers–into an alternate world where camp, pop, burlesque, religion, and eroticism mingle in perfect harmony. Creating the sets themselves, and with Pierre as photographer and Gilles as painter/elaborator, they create one-of-a-kind artworks of an unmistakably original style. A host of stars has passed before their lens, such as Iggy Pop, Madonna, Marc Almond, Nina Hagen, Catherine Deneuve, Laetitia Casta, Marilyn Manson, Mireille Mathieu… though many of their portraits also feature unknowns.


I’ve photographed some of my favourite images from the book and added them here.


The above is one of their classic self portraits.



Marking the 30th anniversary of their collaboration, the Jeu de Paume in Paris is hosting a retrospective of their work from June to September, 2007.

Much more than just an exhibition catalog, this book brings together all of the 130 works included in the exhibition as well as an additional 170 pieces focusing on the past ten years. Also included is a tribute text by the artist Jeff Koons. What better way to (re)discover the work of Pierre et Gilles?




Much of their work incorporates a fabricated border made in studio by the creative couple (image below) and its very much this kind of production which I enjoy about their work, as well as their love of kitsch and play on mythological and religious themes.



Above image of Laetitia Casta (2000) has such beautiful Dutch painterly style lighting. And below image of slashed up burlesque diva Dita Von Teese.





From a 2015 article on the duo in Galore:

When we create an image it’s always an adventure, we never know beforehand if it will succeed or not. It’s the public who decides, artists create their works and it is the public who turn it into a masterpiece.

Each photo shoot is done in our studio which is also our house, there is a pleasant ambiance and the models discover the universe in which we live, it allows them to truly enter into our world. We also love to discover and it is imperative that the model finds themself in the image. It’s an exchange.









More from their interview in Galore:

We always work together and we each have a role, we complement one another. We work at home in our studio, we construct a specific decor for the model. It’s like in the theater, the subject poses amongst ornaments in lighting that Pierre had specially prepared in advance, but it is always part improvisation. Once the shoot is over, we choose the best image to make a print on which Gilles paints to make it more ideal. In the end, it’s like a picture with a specially made frame. It’s a long process that takes many weeks.

The world is like art, in constant evolution, it’s always changing. We like it and we don’t like it and that is what pleases us. It’s an eternal spectacle and we will never tire of it.


Above image of Claudia Schiffer as Venus, 1997.




The creation of each image must be such an undertaking. I remember how much time, effort and preparation went into my (much more simplified in comparison to Pierre & Gilles) graduate body of work which was all studio work with a very dramatised and stylised play on erotic female stereotypes. In fact not just the time but also the spend,- one of the reasons I’ve ended up which such a vast collection of women’s attire, backdrops and the likes.

Pierre & Gilles are one of my top handful of inspirational photographers.



And I loved this little paragraph from Wikipedia…

Pierre et Gilles have sometimes attracted controversy. For example, in 2012 there was a public outcry in Austria when their work entitled Vive la France was displayed on large street posters to advertise the Nackte Männer (English: Naked Men) exhibition created by Ilse Haider at the Leopold Museum in Vienna. It depicts three naked French footballers with their genitals fully revealed: the first black, the second Arab/Muslim and the third white, to represent the multi-ethnic composition of modern French society. The ensuing controversy led to an act of self-censorship by the artists, who decided that the largest street posters should be changed, and instead use coloured ribbons to hide the players’ genitals.






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A Book: Chambre Close
by Bettina Rheims & Serge Bramly

Chambre-Close-BOOK COVERby-Bettina-Rheims-&-Serge-Bramly--001-

This beautiful book was gifted to me by my partner. He knows me well.

Chambre-Close-by-Bettina-Rheims-&-Serge-Bramly--002- The inside-cover dust jacket reads and explains the contents of the book:

Bettina Rheims / Serge Bramly
Chambre Close
A Fiction
152 pages, 85 color plates

It was snowing on Paris when a well-dressed, gaunt old gentleman with pale skin entered a photography studio in the sixth arrondissement…

Monsieur X., the said gentleman, hands the manager his legacy that is to remain anonymous for all times- erotic nude photographs of women taken in hotel rooms, unequivocal evidence of the secret double life he leads behind closed doors. Monsieur X. is a perfectly discrete voyeur, an old school seducer, an amateur in the original sense. Not only does he have a good education and money, but a professional photographer’s equipment- and an obsessive curiosity for the female body.

Chambre-Close-by-Bettina-Rheims-&-Serge-Bramly--003- Chambre-Close-by-Bettina-Rheims-&-Serge-Bramly--004-

 The artistic collaboration of photographer Bettina Rheims and author and art critic Serge Bramly began in 1991 with Chambre Close and continues until today. Every one of their joint projects caused a stir and provoked heated debates, like I.N.R.I (1997/98). This edition of Chambre Close, in which we are publishing the complete series of photographs for the first time, is particularly interesting because of the contrast between text and pictures. Juxtaposed to the cultivated literary tone of Monsieur X.’s fictitious “avowal” are photographs which speak a much clearer language. Bettina Rheims, who produced her first photo series in color with Chambre Close, is fluent in this language, telling stories of female eroticism and female exhibitionism unlike anyone else.



Apart from my love of strongly composed square images, the tone of Rheims’s work is kind of decadent in its color saturation and in the (effortless) tension/ harmony play in her photographs.



She works with a mix of body language and props to weave the compositional tone of her images. In both the below and above images (if not in them all) one can really see how she works with space, form and sexuality.



From the first pages of the book:

It could go either way. In real life our dreams turn out to be two-sided and contradictory. While one part of us aspires to tranquility, another thirsts for torment. There are two voices speaking at the same time, and the fainter one has just as much of a hold. When one has drowned out the other, and its dominance seems assured, the other is cunningly biding its time, ready to spit venom.


 In my case, it all began with a moment of desperation, midway through my life, when I was least expecting it. I had worked so hard and well to eliminate friction in the belief that I was acting for the common good, for the benefit of my friends, my family and myself- and, insofar to the best of my ability, for the cause of social progress- and that my days would follow a perfectly smooth course to what was already looking like happiness.


Such a belief made it easy to bear the bumps still strewn across my path, the uncertainties that occasionally snagged my comfort. I considered them ephemeral. I waited. For me, the present was like a transit lounge. Soon, a hostess would be announcing the flight that was going to whisk me to the islands of felicity, as the fulfillment of a moderate and hard-working life. I was staking the best part of my days on a winning tomorrow. Even if the future was slow in coming, the word dissatisfaction never entered my vocabulary.
But then the other voice whispered in my ear.




The book reads like a memoir of fictitious author Monsieur X., who invites and pays women to undress for him in hotel rooms. Bettina’s accompanying images illustrate his supposed experiences and resulting photoshoots.

The models cast for the project are so varied, not just for body type but also for age and race, this makes them even more believably part of his storyline.

There are elements of her work which remind me of Helmut Newton’s approach to photographing women. I think its in the strength their models exude and the way they both obtain alluring body language and poses.



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Found Images:
Women Before 10am by Veronique Vial

RePhotographed images Women Before 10am by Veronique Vial 1

I think I came across these images while I was doing research in the Michaelis/UCT library during my graduate year in 2005. I photocopied them and stuck them into my visual diary of the time, here they appear re-photographed from my diary as well as a few more lower down which I grabbed from google image search.

RePhotographed images Women Before 10am by Veronique Vial 2

RePhotographed images Women Before 10am by Veronique Vial 3

I can’t exactly put my finger on what it is about them which draws me so much,- maybe its the graininess of both the film and those first moments of the day? I wonder also how she approached her subjects- did she ask them to stay as they were when they had awoken? Did she style them or ask her subjects to just be naturally reactive to the concept and moment?

Sarah Jane Wylde by Veronique Vial

Editorial reviews I found and liked about the book:

“Imagine being let into the bedrooms and bathrooms of 96 of the world’s most beautiful actresses and models to photograph them while they’re still sleepily themselves, without makeup, defenses or clothes. These heavenly creatures loll in expensive sheets, smoke, drink coffee, play with their dogs and children and let it all hang out.” – Paper

“Intimate, messy, revealing – photos of fabulous females in their precaffeinated state.” – Elle

I love the description “females in their pre-caffeinated state”!

There is a strange parallel I find between the intimacy of the captured scenes and  the element of the staged (who wants to look unattractive in a portrait sitting after all? Did they adjust their hair? The light? The room? Makeup?)

Women Before 10am by Veronique Vial

I previously knew nothing about French-born-living -in-America photographer Veronique Vial and went to her website to find out a bit more about her work.
I was a little disappointed sadly- I had expected her work to be a bit more content rich, more conceptual, but her work has much more of a lifestyle/stock photography feel for me.The book and the theme and the style in which she shot it was much more atmospheric, and I also loved the incorporation of her own handwriting. The images I kept all those years ago are still inspiring, so much so that along with my Polaroid project I’m considering shooting a new series in B&W film on my old cameras.

Women Before 10am by Veronique Vial
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An Article: The Price of Beauty

I found this article in Marie Claire magazine (May 2010, South Africa), I’m not a magazine buyer so this probably got left at my house by a visitor or I tore it surreptitiously out of a magazine in a waiting room. The article is written by Zed Nelson about his then new book “Love Me” (Thames & Hudson).


Over a five year period this photographer visited 17 countries while documenting this project on society’s obsession with beauty and youth. The article published in Marie Claire was an intriguing read with some quite radical reportage style images… Here are my best bits with images taken from the article as well as from his website which had  a wider range of the images published in the book:


I began Love Me when I was in my mid-thirties. I’m sure that was no coincidence. Like many long-term fascinations, I don’t know exactly when the idea seeded itself. Perhaps it began quite simply, one day, when I looked in the mirror and realised I would not live forever.
I’m sure I’m not alone in being surprised by that revelation. And I’m sure it comes at the age when you realise that the body you inhabit has been loaned to you, that it is not fully yours, not fully under your control. I realised, too, that the way I perceived myself was increasingly being influenced by others.


We live in a society that celebrates and iconizes youth. Beauty is a R1.1-trillion-a-year worldwide industry and the pursuit of body improvement has become like a new religion. The promise of bodily improvement is fuelled by advertising campaigns and commercially driven Western media, reflecting an increasingly narrow palette of beauty.


The modern Caucasian beauty ideal has been packaged and exported globally, and just as surgical operations to “Westernize” oriental eyes have become increasingly popular, so the beauty standard has become equally prescriptive. In Africa the use of skin-lightening and hair-straightening products is widespread. In South America, women have operations that bring them eerily close to the Barbie doll ideal, and blonde-haired models appear on the covers of most magazines. Anorexia is on the increase in Japan and, in China, beauty pageants – once banned as “spiritual pollution” – are now held across the country. “westernizing” the human body has become a new form of globalisation, and the homogenisation of appearance has made “Beauty” into a crude universal brand.

"Kill me, but make me beautiful" - Ancient Iranian Proverb

“Kill me, but make me beautiful” – Ancient Iranian Proverb

The more rigorously our vision is trained to appreciate the artificial, the more the beauty industry benefits. But who creates this culture? However much we may confidently point the finger at sinister commercial forces, we can’t deny our own tacit involvement. Like it or not, we have created a world in which there are enormous social, psychological and economic rewards and penalties attached to the way we look.

Vaginal tissue. Removed during ‘designer vaginal rejuvenation’ surgery, to ‘tighten and neaten appearance’. Los Angeles, USA.

Vaginal tissue. Removed during ‘designer vaginal rejuvenation’ surgery, to ‘tighten and neaten appearance’.
Los Angeles, USA.

Few of us can deny we want to be attractive. Don’t we all won’t to be loved? But have we been brainwashed into believing that in order to be loved, to be loveable, we need smaller noses, bigger breasts, tighter skin, longer legs, flatter stomachs and to remain forever youthful? Banks now offer loans for plastic surgery in Europe, and families in the USA with annual incomes under $25 000 (R185 487) account for 30% of all cosmetic surgery patients. Americans now spend more each year on beauty than they do on education.
As our role models become ever younger and more idealized, we are so afraid of ageing that the quest for youthful preservation generates an obsession with our bodies. As we align our sense of self-worth with self-image, the psychological and emotional consequences are tortuous….

Hair Extensions, London, UK. From Zed Nelsons book Love Me
This is one of the key topics I’m fascinated with myself. And questions like “what kind of beautifying is ok and what is extreme or over-the-top and who is the judge?” often come up.
At what point of effort or interference, with how your body appears naturally, is it too much, when do we go too far? Where is the line between a normal need for good presentation of ourselves and an excess of it fed by media? Is a needle and a blade the tipping point or not? Teeth bleaching or whitening tooth paste? Liposuction or excessive dieting? Eyeliner, mascara and eye brow tweezing? Labiaplasty? GHD’s? I suppose ones answers are derived from ones individual context and history…

I consider myself reasonably tom-boyish or maybe I just don’t have the inclination to maintain a certain kind of “up-keep” I see in many women around me. Although even I am happy to have laser hair removal and gelish re-applied bi-monthly (if I get around to doing it)… Its also ridiculously expensive to maintain some of the basic beauty standards without spending in excess of a couple of thousand a month which is obviously exactly the spending the beauty industry is punting. But apart from spending money and time (wasted?) “beautifying” or maintaining, we are basically self-made slaves to exactly this industry Zed discusses and looks at so well in his book.

I enjoyed these this comment about the book on his site:

“From sexed up teenage club-hoppers, to prison beauty queens,  to a brilliantly curated Alain de Botton quote, the book is a cover-to-cover gem that explores, with superb creative direction and a merciless confrontation with superficiality, the most uncomfortable fringes of cultural anthropology.”
-Maria Popova

More here on the book.

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A book: Archive One | David Bailey
by Thames & Hudson


Bought on a sale by my Mom and given as a gift during my first year of photography studies this book is a pretty special keeper.

Archive One David Bailey



On the inside cover leaf Martin Harrison writes about David Bailey:

No photographer ever had a greater impact on the 1960s than David Bailey. The best new breed of fashion photographers who catapulted into the scene in the early years of that decade, he himself would become as well known as all the famous faces on which he trained his camera. After Bailey, photography would never be the same again.




David Bailey Archive One basically follows the career of Englands most famous photographic practitioner, the book brings the Swinging Sixties , in all its monochrome glory, back to life.


Bailey worked extensively with Jean Shrimpton, Penelope Tree and Catherine Deneuve as well as Grace Coddington, Twiggy, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, the list goes on. His name I believe is synonymous  with 60s fashion and pop music icons. I’ve chosen a selection of some of my favourite portraits and fashion images of women from his book.







I found this quote on Interview-Review while reading up a bit more about his work,- I thought it an interesting comment about how he saw models/women:

I think most talent is inborn. So Jean (Shrimpton) had an advantage because she was beautiful. She didn’t scare people, she was attractive to everybody, from dogs to intellectuals.  She had one of those democratic beauties that everyone could appreciate. Some women are so beautiful that you can’t believe they could live next door; they live in some fantasy world.



While he is not a favorite, I appreciate his approach to portrait photography, the way he uses simple expressions or compositions of the body ( the way the fingers are positioned on the mouth, the parallel of limbs in a square format, how he translates a mood or a feeling to an image…) to make up the story in his shots.

His pictures certainly are iconic, his portraits and lighting style, and format epitomise the era for me. And ending with a quote by Bailey I couldn’t agree with more:

It is not the camera that takes the picture, it is the person.

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Cecil Beaton’s Portraits of The Royals:
Queens & Princesses

The Royals by Cecil Beaton

While writing my graduate thesis in 2005 I came across a book of portraits taken by Cecil Beaton of the British royal family. The images are magical, whimsical, perfectly lit and just pure fantasy really. He seems to have captured the fairytale ideal that the monarchy have created in the minds of many and I fell in love with many of the images.
Here is a collection of some of the images of the queens, princesses and duchesses which I found again in an image search (since the original copies I had were just photostats from the Michaelis Library).

The Royals by Cecil Beaton

The Royals by Cecil Beaton


The Victoria and Albert Museum, who exhibited many of these works wrote about the photographer:

The photographs of the British royal family by Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) were central to shaping the monarchy’s public image in the mid-20th century. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was still a young princess when she first sat for Beaton in 1942. Over the next three decades he would be invited to photograph the Queen on many significant occasions, including her Coronation Day in 1953.

The most memorable of Beaton’s images combine the splendour of historic royal portrait painting with an intimacy that only photography and film can convey. His detailed diary accounts reveal the complexities of each sitting, from the intense planning and excitement beforehand to the pressures of achieving the perfect shot.
Photographs, diaries, personal letters and press cuttings combine to tell the fascinating story of a magnificent collaboration between crown and camera.

‘The telephone rang. ‘This is the lady-in-waiting speaking. The Queen wants to know if you will photograph her tomorrow afternoon’ … In choosing me to take her photographs, the Queen made a daring innovation. It is inconceivable that her predecessor would have summoned me – my work was still considered revolutionary and unconventional.’
Cecil Beaton’s diary, July 1939

The opportunity to photograph Queen Elizabeth,  was the high point of Beaton’s career to date. Published two months after the outbreak of the Second World War, his images presented a sense of continuity with a magnificent pre-war Britain. Several wartime sittings of the Queen and her family would reinforce his vision of a seemingly unshakable monarchy and witness the transformation of her daughter Princess Elizabeth from girl to young woman.

The flowers that appear in many of Beaton’s portraits were often picked from his own garden. Cascading arrangements of roses, carnations, lilies and hydrangeas filled the space between a photographic backdrop and the sitter, and were an essential prop in the creation of his idealised Arcadian scenes.

The Royals by Cecil Beaton

The Royals by Cecil Beaton

His sense of composition, staged scenario and the styling of the subjects appeals to my aesthetic. And my all-time favourite of which I can’t find an online version…

IMG_0962The Royals by Cecil Beaton

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Self Portrait Project: #3

Day 3 of the self portraiture project.

I asked my younger sister to stand behind me with her arms out stretched. I wanted to see little snippets of her behind me; her hair, her hip, the cotton undies, etc. I think the elements in the image are simple responses to previous image references I’ve seen, maybe the controversial ad campaign created by American Apparel and Richard Kern with red stockings. It was at a time the company was getting a lot of flak (understatement) about showing provocative images of under age girls and porn stars; they were strong advertising images which caused a lot of outrage and Kern, who I believe shot many of the images, had the perfectly edgy/seedy style to pull it off.

The portrait is strong and protective, I created it intuitively on the day and now when I look at it I’m surprised by these element. I like the corresponding colour in the lips/stockings and towel/background, I like the boldness and strangeness too.

Self Portrait Project 003 Leah Hawker 2014

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Patric Fouad’s German Brothel Interiors


I found Patric Fouads images of German brothel interiors by accident when I bought an edition of Design Week in 2005. The gaudy kitschness and the definite inimitable style of the spaces combined with their function is intriguing. I tore the article out of the mag all those years ago and kept it along with so much other female related material…

Amazon, who sells Fouad’s book “Frauenzimmer”, writes about the book:

Since 2001, prostitution is no longer illegal in Germany. Patric Fouad gives us rare insights into the interiors of eleven rooms of brothels all over Germany. The photographer left the places he saw unchanged in order to allow the most authentic view of the scene. Despite the absence of any human beings, the interiors speak for themselves: The pompous elegance of some and the imaginative or reduced decoration of others suggest the wishes of the clientele that is being served. The candid images are strong in their impact and yet subtle in their implications. By leaving out the main characters, the viewer’s imagination and curiosity is increased even further. A high quality coffee-table book of a different kind.

Frauenzimmer by Patric Foud


The article in Design Weekly from 10 February 2005, written by Clare Dowdy, reads:

Sex is everywhere. Harmony has a licensed sex shop on London’s Oxford Street, Hustler has opened a “department store” in Birmingham and has its sights set on the major European cities; Ann Summers is planning to open outlets in Spain; and Selfridges-based sex toy retailer Tabooboo has 60 vending machines in bars and clubs across the UK and stores planned for the continent. Even venerable high street chemist Boots the Chemists briefly mooted giving vibrators shelf space alongside shampoos and verucca treatments.

All this in-you-face activity around Europe is the result of our increasingly relaxed attitude towards sex (think Sex And The City) and legislation that is gradually being relaxed. A recent development in Germany is the legalisation of prostitution, which came into force in 2001. This- in theory at least- means selling sex is now like any other business and should be treated as such. Hard to swallow, but Patric Fouad’s photographs go some war to persuading us of that. There are around 400 000 practising prostitutes in Germany, with more than half offering services in brothels. Fouad, who was born in Düsseldorf, has chosen to shoot the interiors of 11 of  these venues as you might shoot a restaurant or retail environment. “I wanted to make these rooms accessible to the public, especially women,” he explains. What started out as a thesis project for the University of Applied Sciences in Dortmund has ended up as a coffee-table book: Frauenzimmer, Brothels in Germany. Its title is a (German) play on words: archaic German for woman, Frauenzimmer’s literal meaning is “women’s rooms”.

Boudoir Exposure Article

Despite their new-found legitimacy, Fouad had to go to considerable lengths to get access. It all started with an intense internet search- no mean feat considering that many of the brothels are registered via paysites that require a log-in. Contact details of the operators were also supplied through journalists and social workers. Then it was a case of calling the patrons up and persuading them to agree to the photo shoot. “I tried various strategies, using different choices of wording,” he says. “Usually, after a brief moment of hesitation, they agreed.” And on location he was given a warm welcome.

As with many images of retail interiors, these are people-free zones, Fouad was not in the business of taking portraits and wanted the rooms to speak to themselves. “There are so many details, colours, patterns that repeatedly appear in the various bordellos and give an idea of the people who decorate and live in them,” he says. Clues to the nature of the room’s occupants include PVC novelties pinned to the wall and a pair of kitten heels by the bed. By shooting all the rooms, where possible, from the same angle, Fouad has presented us with a succession of comparable images. This gives the scenes a nice coherence and helps to concentrate the viewer’s eye. With their curtained or blacked-out windows, all illumination is artificial. As Fouad was determined to shoot these places in all their naked glory, there was minimal additional lighting and no styling. “Naturally, a well-kept room contributes to the image of the house and is therefore important to the owner as well as to the prostitute,” he points out.

While it doesn’t appear that these have had the interior design consultants in, they do display some rules of thumb concerning aesthetics and layout. Unsurprisingly , the main attraction is the bed, though it might surprise the uninitiated that many are single rather than double. This is because half the rooms featured were in the houses for “occasional traffic” or clubs. As well as the gadgetry, walls are adorned with mostly tacky art showing ladies in provocative poses. Meanwhile, the paraphernalia of the profession (lubricants, tissues and such like) stand brazenly by the bed. When it comes to aesthetics, red and pink dominate. In fact, all the colour combinations would make John Pawson followers reach for the bucket. Some of the rooms share common features, clearly a case of the owner getting a job lot of items such as bedspreads or lamps.

Frauenzimmer mixes images of decadence with those of mean cheapness, demonstrating both spectrums of the “profession”. As a book it works on two levels: an insight into a hidden world and a set of interiors images. Either way, it’s intriguing stuff.

Design Weekly Cover

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“WOMAN” An Article by Amelia Burger

This is an article written by Amelia Burger for One Small Seed Magazine, Issue 08, 2007, pages 46 through 53.

From One Small Seed Magazine Article


SA Photographers Leah Hawker and Michelle Prinsloo are constructing  a fuller, more multi-faceted understanding of female sexuality through their personal and provocative interpretations of the female form. Amelia Burger tries to bear it all.

While both these female photographers have their own philosophy which influences their approach to their work, it all comes down to expressing all of who you are. Their work rings true for women universally, but this is certainly the work of two young South Africans breaking through the visual barriers of female photography in ths country.

Leah interprets being a woman in South Africa objectively and almost as if from a distance, addresses the communal generalisation of the female archetype. There is a “very strong compartmentalisation of our supposed gender responsibilities, be it African, Afrikaans, English or Muslim communities, we’re all so aware of what is expected of use. Women in South Africa are becoming a bit more open-minded and educated about our sexuality and gender, and I’m trying to facilitate this in some ways in my work.”

Michelle goes even further in dealing with some aspects of female stereotype liberation and is more intense, raw and personal in her approach. “I feel we have a stength within us, but we still have a lot to prove in society within these conservative constraints. We need to be ourselves and allow ourselves to be heard clearly and express ourselves as individuals…I want to provoke my viewers, I want them to have their own individual perception of the image”

This image by the talented Michelle featured in the article.

“When you reject me”- image by the talented Michelle featured in the article.

Artist and photographer, Leah Hawker incorporates concepts of beauty, seduction, gender stereotyping and restriction while working primarily with the female nude. She aims to get women thinking and questioning their own archaic, set ideas about their sexual identity. “I think that some ideas are so ingrained in our social and cultural genes that we don’t question whether they should even apply to us reasonably anymore.”

“The patriarchal base from which much of our thinking and actions are situated doesn’t suit both genders , so women are begining to develop more feminine approached and so balance society.” As seen in these pictures, her work is sensual but never crosses the line into explicit. It’s feminine, beautiful and celebratory.

Shooting provocative images is a starnge thing really,” she says “because in one way or another, the model agrees to play out and pose for an idea or concept which is initiated by the thinking and fantasy on the part of the photographer. I always find this fact somewhat disturbing. Maybe thats why I deal with the subject matter so conceptually and detachedly.”

Tear sheets taken from One Small Seed Magazine published in 2007

Tear sheets taken from One Small Seed Magazine published in 2007

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