Transformations photography exhibition in Muizenberg

Photographer Araminta de Clermont captures the personal journeys of former death row prisoners, Cape Flats matriculates and recently initiated Xhosa and Sotho men


Internationally acclaimed photographer Araminta de Clermont’s three-part “Transformations: Before Life, Life After and A New Life” exhibition showcases at Muizenberg’s Casa Labia Gallery from Friday, 5 October to Sunday, 25 November 2012. 

As part of the Cape Town Month of Photography, the retrospective explores the London-based artist’s pointed interest in the relationship between outward appearance and inner metamorphosis. More specifically, comprised of three separate individual bodies of work, the combined catalogue captures the external manifestations of the intensely personal, often cathartic, journeys of three distinct groups of individuals: South Africa’s ‘Numbers’ gang prisoners released back into society, Cape Flats girls dressed up for their matric dances and young Xhosa and Sotho men who have just returned from initiation in the bush.

Though the subject matter of each series varies tremendously, a common theme connects each line of work: Araminta’s drive to capture her subject’s sense of self and to portray their growth at critical points in their lives through demonstrations of the way they look.

As a recovering addict herself, she finds the subject of transformation fascinating: “I’m really interested in times of change because it’s what being alive is all about—growing, transforming and working to keep those changes in oneself alive and not slipping back into old ways of being. I say this because I’ve been through some profound changes in my life when I moved from addiction to recovery, and I struggled a lot with that change before and found myself slipping back into old ways. So it amazes me to see how much one can transform oneself and become stronger.” 

After Life

Intensely curious about the repercussions of living a life outside of prison while branded with the conspicuous tattooed-markings of a former inmate, Araminta sought out members of the infamous South African ‘Numbers’ game as photographic subjects. Stigmatised by their tattoos in the outside world, these prisoners had often chosen to engrave themselves within the institution of jail to convey rankings within the prison hierarchy, commemorate a crime or to simply communicate a personal statement. Both shocking and saddening, the series raises countless questions about this mode of self-expression in the context of a place as soul-destroying and threatening as prison. 

Before Life

Born from her previous work, ‘Before Life’ was Araminta’s inspired answer to the question of ‘can only bad come from being raised in dangerous, fragmented and impoverished areas?’ Depicting flawlessly dressed and gorgeously made-up Cape Flat girls on the eve of their matric dance, a seminal moment linked to the accomplishment of school graduation, the series captures the hope, aspiration and sense of achievement that can live within even the most depressing of environments. The contrast between the brightly clad women and their drab, often derelict surroundings is striking, and speaks volumes in itself.

A New Beginning

Enamoured with the dignity and pride of new Xhoso and Sotho initiates, Araminta photographed these boys-turned-men with the aim of illuminating the new sense of beginning following their watershed transition from childhood to adulthood. The initiation process, a highly secret ritual that takes place in the bush, is followed by an up to 6-month period during which the new man will wear clothing which denotes his transformation and his acquired maturity and responsibility. A great source of pride for both the individuals and the surrounding community, the coming-of-age is accompanied by stringent rules associated with dress and behaviour. “New” Xhosa men, or Amakrwala, wear blazers, buttoned-up shirts, and hats. Trousers and shoes must be smart. “New” Sotho men, or Makolwane, wear traditional blankets, hats, and beads. 

Entrance Fee for “Transformations” at Casa Labia Gallery

There is no entrance fee to view the exhibition; it’s FREE, MAHALA, nothing! Casa Labia Gallery hours are from 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

---

Find out more about what's on during the Cape Town Month of Photography.

---

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle and check out our Pinterest boards for updates. Not to mention, subscribe to our newsletter to keep up-to-date with what's happening in our pretty city. 

Mon
H:27°
L:14°
Tue
H:28°
L:15°
Wed
H:23°
L:15°
Thu
H:20°
L:14°
Fri
H:19°
L:15°
Sat
H:23°
L:14°
Sun
H:23°
L:16°
Cape Town Events Calendar
October 2012
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

BarleycornBarleycorn Music Club

39 years of supporting and nurturing SA’s best local and original music

Rocking Hollywood 5Barnyard Theatre’s Rocking Hollywood ...

Have a musical trip down memory lane with the brilliant cast of Rocking in ...

Battlefield Live Corporate LogoTeam Building with Battlefield Live SA

Corporates become commandos in this adrenaline-inducing, morale-boosting laser ...

Marc LotteringMarc Lottering Comedy Show in Cape Town

The Mother City’s (multi) comedic personality is back on stage with another ...

Maboneng Township Arts Langa TagThe Langa TAG Township Arts Gallery Tour

Take a gander at local creations along this Cape Town township’s first ...

Dinner Club at Borage Bistro Cape TownThursday Supper Club at Borage Bistro

Book your seat at this CBD gem’s uber-affordable biweekly pop-up dinner

Postcard view of Cape Town South AfricaHelicopter Tour Special with NAC Cape ...

Save 15% on breathtaking private helicopter flights around the Mother City ...

Sundowners at Castella AmareDouble Happy Hour Special at Castella ...

Treat yourself to half-price tapas and heartily discounted wine every Monday to ...

HintHunt Escape Game GroupCape Town’s Most Mysterious Tourist ...

Be sure to add this brain-teasing challenge to your Mother City bucket list

Tidy and Co 15 Christmas Present Ideas15 Christmas Present Ideas for 15 ...

A pick of 15 fabulous gifts for everyone from outdoor enthusiasts and girly ...

HQ 2-for-1 Steak Restaurant Special MondaysSteak Dinner Special at HQ Restaurant

#2For1Unplugged Mondays: get twice the sirloin, salad and chips at Headquarters ...

Thai Sabai Day Spas Somerset WestThai Sabai’s Day Spa Special

Indulge in a relaxing Lotus Flower Hot Oil Massage, a light lunch and a fruit ...

avontuur wine estate entrance 2Self-guided Tour & Wine Tasting at ...

Indulge in a super affordable farm walk and sip-and-swirl session at the ...

ACC City Desired Exhibition at City Hall Cape TownCity Desired Exhibition at City Hall

Contemporary Cape Town exposed: encounter the Mother City in a whole new light ...

Sunday Roast at Wild Fig Romantic Restaurant2-for-1 Monday Restaurant Special at ...

Grab a partner and enjoy a charming country lunch or dinner for as little as ...

hudsons burger joint cocktails2-for-1 Happy Hour Food & Drinks ...

Wind down from a hard day’s work with buy-one-get-one-free appetisers, beers ...

Tin Noakes Diet Salad from Rcaffe menuRcaffe's Tim Noakes Diet Menu Specials

This lovable Long Street restaurant’s new offering is perfect for those on ...

Yemaya spa and hair and nails logoYemaya Spa’s Spray Tan Special

Go golden for less thanks to this exclusive CapeTownMagazine.com deal

Monday Life Drawing Classes at Bright Art StudioLife Drawing Classes at Bright Day

Capture the beauty of the human body in all its shapes, forms and sizes

2-for-1 burger special on Monday at they odysseyMonday Burger Special at The Odyssey ...

Tuck into two prime patties for only R100 at this handsome Bree Street bar

Rocking Hollywood 5Barnyard Theatre’s Rocking Hollywood ...

Have a musical trip down memory lane with the brilliant cast of Rocking in ...

Battlefield Live Corporate LogoTeam Building with Battlefield Live SA

Corporates become commandos in this adrenaline-inducing, morale-boosting laser ...

The Galileo Open Air Theatre Hillcrest QuarryThe Galileo Open Air Cinema at ...

Grab your popcorn and settle down at this unique Durbanville location for the ...

Marc LotteringMarc Lottering Comedy Show in Cape Town

The Mother City’s (multi) comedic personality is back on stage with another ...

Maboneng Township Arts Langa TagThe Langa TAG Township Arts Gallery Tour

Take a gander at local creations along this Cape Town township’s first ...

Borage Bistro SaladThe Everyman’s Bistro Lunch at Borage ...

Everyone’s invited for a sublime midday meal at this easy-going CBD eatery

Charcoal Dining RestaurantCharcoal Dining: An Intimate Party and ...

Host memorable, meaningful functions at this warm CBD bistro

Kids Bday Party at Two Oceans AquariumKids Parties at the Two Oceans Aquarium

Birthdays are better down where it’s wetter, take it from us!

The Foreign Exchange Bar Quiz NightTrivia Night at The Foreign Exchange Bar

Test your general knowledge at this Observatory-based haunt’s Tuesday pub quiz

Yoga at the Cape Quarter SquareFree Yoga Classes at the Cape Quarter ...

Free your mind and flex your body at this stylish lifestyle centre’s mahala ...

Horseback safari at AquilaHorseback Safari at Aquila Game Reserve

Ditch the regular, old game drive and saddle up for an up-close experience with ...

Tidy and Co 15 Christmas Present Ideas15 Christmas Present Ideas for 15 ...

A pick of 15 fabulous gifts for everyone from outdoor enthusiasts and girly ...

Boy Girl Hair at Love Cape TownHaircut Special at Boy Girl Hair

Marry a tip-top cut with any of this edgy salon’s other services and save 30%

Richard's Bistro supper and stage Kaapstad“Kaapse Stories” at Richard’s ...

Supper and Stage make for a delectable evening’s entertainment

KIN Present Store in City Centre CPTShop for ‘That Special Something’ ...

You’ll find cool gifts for guys and gals galore at this reservoir of ...

ACC City Desired Exhibition at City Hall Cape TownCity Desired Exhibition at City Hall

Contemporary Cape Town exposed: encounter the Mother City in a whole new light ...

Auslese Private Events and Function VenueAuslese Function Venue: Just What the ...

The exclusive food and wine pairing space that caters for parties, events and ...

Conquest School of Driving Cape TownConquest’s Driving Lessons

Cruise through your K53 licence test with the help of one of Cape Town’s most ...

Eggs Benedict from Latitude 332-for-1 Eggs Benedict Breakfast Special ...

Buy one and get the other free at this Bree Street restaurant every Tuesday

whale wine and wors wine flies logoWine Flies’ Whale, Wine and Wors Tour ...

Hop on board a fun-filled minibus and explore the hidden gems of the Western ...

High tea at the Twelve Apostles HotelHigh Tea by the Sea at The Twelve ...

A must-do with a view in dearest Cape Town

funcar vw beetleFun Car: Cheap Car Hire in Cape Town

Buzz through the Mother City in a budget Beetle, Citi Golf, Jeep Cherokee or ...

Outside of Peter's House on Kloof NekOpen Mic Night At Peter’s House

This cosy Tamboerskloof restaurant hosts a free intimate live performance ...

Djembe Drumming in Cape TownThe African Djembe Drum & Drumming ...

The story behind one of Africa’s oldest instruments, and how to get your ...

Mike Rosenberg PassengerPassenger Concerts South Africa

‘Let Her Go’ singer is headed to Mzansi for a three-date concert ...

The Vintage Expo Cape TownThe Vintage Fashion Expo in Cape Town

Browse retro clothing and accessories from a bygone era at a stunning art deco ...

Gardens of Grande Roche Hotel WinelandsChristmas Day Lunch Buffet at the ...

Whisk your family and friends away to the Cape Winelands for fine dining this ...

Richard's Bistro supper and stage KaapstadNew Year’s Eve Dinner & Dance at ...

Say hello to 2015 with a truly Capetonian celebration at this Sea Point musical ...

Wavescape Fish FryWavescape Fish Fry with Ultimate Braai ...

Score a sweet surfboard and watch celebrity braai masters go head-to-head at ...

Spring rolls at Savour RestaurantSavour Restaurant at African Pride 15 ...

Discover the unexpected in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre 

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips