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"Amy Schoeman Retrospective Exhibition"
2008-04-24 until 2008-05-31
Sasol Art Museum, University of Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch, , ZA South Africa

A retrospective exhibition of photographs by the award-winning Namibian photographer Amy Schoeman FPPSA (Dux) will be presented by the University of Stellenbosch in the Sasol Art Museum in Stellenbosch from 23 April to 31 May. Regarded as one of Namibia’s top photographers, Amy Schoeman was born in England and educated in Namibia and South Africa, obtaining a B. Com. (Law) degree at the University of Stellenbosch. She started her professional career in photography in 1977 as Journalist/Photographer for the then Department of Nature Conservation and Tourism in the South West African Administration. She specialised in environmental photography, focusing on the graphic, textural and abstract qualities of the desert landscape. She currently holds two PPSA (Professional Photographers of Southern Africa) Fellowships, one in Environmental and the other in Fine Art photography.

The exhibition will be an overview of work done over the past 25 years and will be presented as 15 portfolios. The first of these, the Skeleton Coast Permanent Collection, will feature the highlights of images taken in the Skeleton Coast, Kaokoland and Damaraland in the remote north-western region of Namibia. This work was taken a step further in the Zen Portfolio, a series of desert abstracts based on the optical illusions created by reversing or turning images upside down. Ten years later this work evolved into Mystic Desert, the last of the 15 portfolios. Presence of the Past is a series of split-tone prints depicting coastal artefacts including shipwrecks and the weathered remains of man’s prospecting, mining and other endeavours in the Namib Desert; and Desert Textures is a series of lith-toned prints portraying the graphic and ephemeral qualities of the Namib Desert.

A departure from the desert work is Womandala, a series of solarised black & white prints depicting issues pertaining to women and The Nine Muses, inspired by classic Greek mythology; Hiroshima Namibia, developed in 2005 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945; and The Five Seasons and Eleven, two projects in which Amy Schoeman collaborated with Namibian fashion designer Melanie Harteveld-Becker. Examples of the designs, which were based on the structure, colours and textures of the photographs, will be exhibited with the images. The last portfolio consists of 10 prints selected from Series 1 & 2 of Mystic Desert. These computer-manipulated images express ongoing themes in the photographer’s life and have an introspective, spiritual and inspirational content, their titles hinting at rather than explaining their content.

The exhibition is scheduled to go from Stellenbosch to the National Art Gallery of Namibia in Windhoek (September–October 2008).


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