This touring photo exhibition furthers the themes in our latest Homegrown production The Island and is part of Artweeks 2017
“Kwisiqithi” is the Xhosa word for ‘The Island’, the tongue in which Nelson Mandela and the freedom fighters debated and crafted the first constitution draft for a free South Arica whilst taking respite from the scorching African sun and the gun sights of the prison guards patrolling the hazardous chalk mine where they would slave away.
In contrast, during my innocent days as a child, the island was a place I associated with long summer holidays, freedom to roam and fond memories playing and exploring Robben Island with my cousin. Through my series of photos, I tried to capture that dark, ever present sense of despair and literal apartheid because of being different, misunderstood or oppressed. I still hold those warm and joyous memories of my family holidays on Robben Island, all be it with a slight sense of guilt, it will always be part of the tapestry that forms my present moment. I will never forget those sunny days catching crayfish and reef sharks, hunting for treasure washed up on the pebbles and rocks, exploring old shipwrecks and clambering on and over massive defensive canons with my cousin, my brother in arms. Those days are gone now but the island remains, a powerful metaphor of the rudder of perception and man’s ability to instil a dark and ominous soul to an island, a shadow locked away at the bottom of the earth.