I am a mature documentary photographer. 

I refer to W Eugene Smith’s quote “…and each time I pressed the shutter release it was a shouted condemnation hurled with the hope that the picture might survive through the years, with the hope that they might echo through the minds of men in the future – causing them caution and remembrance and realization.”

My lens expresses a love of life and celebrates the individual.
And, at once, questions the status quo.


I am a strong advocate for equal rights and have always been an activist for social justice, the rights of the vulnerable and black empowerment in South Africa. My work gives a space for each individual to assert themselves and their presence in the world

 

The Knowing the Unknown series, a study of individuality and mortality, is in the early stages of development. As is the Grandmothers; holding the Universe together series.

The Regarding the Sensual series and Lightness of Being series explore a lighter fascination with the elegance and sensuality of living elements.

Photography functions like poetry, navigating beauty, tension, dissonance and tragedy effortlessly. The Nightfall series implies a state of unknowing. Nightfall is a time for alertness, vulnerability, uncertainty, emotive tension. The dark, a symbol of intimacy, may be a time of calm or a place of fear; where the violence of hunting predators in the wild goes unrecorded, and the delicate impala run in scattering patterns to survive.  A woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of facing rape or interpersonal abuse than learning to read.

 

This almost inherent violence in our culture is disturbingly and unremittingly normalised. And it is again found and reflected in the way we indulge our own oblivious interests and deny the sustainability of our living environment  

We will lose something deep within ourselves if we allow wilderness to disappear. The Fragile Wilderness series defends the intrinsic value of wild animals in wilderness environments. These natural ecosystems and the species that find a home in them, gift the world with biodiversity, precious water sources, vital gene pools, enriched learning and the revitalisation of the human spirit. 

In the glance of the speechless animal there is a discourse that only the attentive can truly understand. Thus, these are quiet images. Portraits of everyday habit rather than glamorised inventions. Wilderness is the core of the natural world and as Roszak (1992:14) points out it is a place where consciously or unconsciously “human nature is densely embedded”.

EXHIBITIONS
2007 Group exhibition The Red Location Museum, Gqeberha

2019 Group exhibition Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha

2019 Group exhibition Bird Street Art Gallery, , Gqeberha

2021 Group exhibition, Mix Tape, Artec , Gqeberha
2021 Group exhibition,  PhotoPlace Gallery’s exhibition, “Essential Water”, USA.
2022 Solo exhibition, “Mature woman series”, GFI gallery, Gqeberha

My fine art documentary photographic work has been purchased for private collections in Cape Town, Gqeberha and Gauteng South Africa, Belgium, Australia, Amsterdam, London, New York, Virginia, Florida and Colorado, USA.

I am profoundly interested in my photographic work as a tool for social change. Until recently, I worked as a Visual Arts lecturer at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I completed my Masters in 2016 and am undertaking a Doctorate. This body of work has been photographed in my immediate shifting environments, in individual's homes and in the game reserves of Southern Africa.  Alongside, I have done award-winning design work for environmental and social non-governmental organisations as part of my contribution to the world.

Email me at margot@mweb.co.za

Published work

  • Invited by Mamphela Ramphele to do a short visual photographic essay for her book Steering by the Stars, 2002.

  • Editorial and advertising photographer, The Argus newspaper. (Jan 1986 – Feb 1988)

  • Editorial photographer, The City newspaper. (Mar 1988 - Jan 1989)

  • Portraits of Sir Laurens Van Der Post for the Evening Standard newspaper, London.

  • Numerous published images as Lead Photographer and Advertising & Publications Manager, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. (Feb 1989 - Dec 1993). Images for poster series celebrating V&A Waterfront with designer Nick Rens.

  • Award winning photography and design for Valley Trust publication (1995)

  • Image chosen for yearly calendar of the European Union. (1996)

  • Images featured in publications regarding Political Opinion Leader Programme, People and Parks project, Magqubu Ntombela Foundation, Imbewu, International Journal of Wilderness, National Parks, Umzi Wethu youth development, Covid education and Earth Rich sustainable planting initiative. (1996 - 2020)

  • Images selected for interiors of Longlee Manor, Shamwari Game Reserve and Elephant House lodges and Hippocampus design agency

  • Contributing photograph in Wildlife Photographers United book Remembering Rhinos

  • Featured in SouthxSoutheast magazine, an American online publication that specialises in fine art, documentary, and illustrative photography, in the May/June 2020 issue with the theme ‘Mothers’.

  • ‘100 years, Knowing the Unknown series’ photograph selected as one of the winners in the international Life Framer competition with the theme ‘Home from Home’ (May 2021, USA).

  • Excerpt from Mature Woman series in lead story of SouthxSoutheast an American online publication that features fine art, documentary, and illustrative photography (June/July 2021 issue, USA)

  • Fine art documentary photographic work purchased for private collections in Cape Town, Gqeberha and Gauteng South Africa, Belgium, Australia, Amsterdam, London, New York, Virginia, Florida and Colorado, USA. (2018 to present). 

  • PhotoPlace Gallery’s exhibition catalogue, “Essential Water”, USA.
    Juror Wendi Schneider selected 35 photographs for exhibition in our Middlebury, Vermont Exhibition Gallery, USA (September 2021)