In many ways digital media and technology have changed the way we create, distribute, access and consume art. This has altered the way the audience experiences art and the creative process. On August 30, at the Tshimologong Precinct, we gathered to listen to three women creatives as part of a panel sharing stories of femininity, community and spirituality in their work through digital technology.
Rendani Nemakhavhani known affectionately as “The Honey” (named so after the main character of her most recent – and probably recognised creative project) first exhibited “The Honey Shall Govern” coined from the opening demand of The Freedom Charter XXX. Her exhibition wasn’t received as well as she’d hoped, so she decided to trade in her medium of choice from illustration to photography.
The photographic series, “The Honey” was born out of a collaboration of skills and passion between Nemakhavini and photographer friend Kgomotso Neto, whom she reached out to. “The Honey” is a cinematic illustration of all types of women or “honey’s”, embracing the fluidity of femininity in all its forms. The Honey is every woman. She can be whoever and whatever she wants to be – from a graphic designer to a home-making housewife, a corporate ladder climber, radical/militant feminist, and/or shebeen queen.
Having worked in mainstream media producing music videos, Karen Palmer was frustrated by the very stereotypical representation of black women. – and wanted to challenge and change it through her work. Enter neurogaming, which is using your mind as a remote control to play a game. With the use of facial technology and POV (point of view) filming used in neurogaming, her hope is to challenge and shape existing identities through.
Her latest body of work is titled “RIOT!”, which the audience at #Creative Hustles was lucky enough to view a world exclusive of, was inspired by her frustration with the lack of mainstream media coverage of police violence in Ferguson and Baton Rouge. She produced the project as a way of opening up a dialogue, to effect behavioural change in communities that are directly involved in protest communities.
Valentina Floris’ work encourages the audience to explore existing public spaces in new and innovative ways. With the use of different techniques and technologies, Floris and her partner, present work that aims to address a series of issues around ideas around public space, society and community. The social commentary isn’t as obvious as the other artists but it opens up opportunities to interpret and experience spaces in a new way.
She will be exhibiting her work as well as some of the collaborations she’s done with local South African artists at the Alight event.
Being a creative – particularly as a black woman presents a number of challenges including making a sustainable living as an artist when art is somewhat misunderstood and undervalued. But the panellists have advice for those in the same field.
“Everything that you create is an extension of you as a person, that is spiritual. Do what you love, invest in yourself with pure intentions and eventually the money will find you!” – Karen Palmer
“It’s important to share your process with your audience as that’s how we learn to better understand, appreciate and value not only art but the artist too.” – Rendani Nemakhavhani
There’s still lots more to look forward to at the Fakugesi Digital Innovation Festival. Check out the programme here.