Artwork by Jamaican artist Tamara Natalie Madden
Tamara has always felt a connection to ‘everyday folk’, the working class, the unseen and unheard, the true warriors of our time. She realized, however, that many people who may have suffered through a similar struggle, did not want to revisit those struggles. With great thought and consideration for her message, she decided to amend her ideas. Inspired, by the golden period of Gustav Klimt and images of royalty from Egypt and West Africa; she decided to turn regular folk into representations of nobility. It seemed, in her view, to be the only way to allow them to be represented and appreciated for who they were intrinsically; kings, queens and warriors, in their own right, who never had a chance to shine, their austere appearance setting the tone for others to judge them. The embellishments with rich fabrics and gold present an opportunity for these people to be seen. The quilted clothing have a double meaning, on one hand representing a sense of distinction, while also allowing for a bit of nostalgia. The birds in the pieces represent a sense of freedom. It was her way of injecting her personal experiences into each painting and remembering her escape and survival from illness and the dialysis machine.
info via ADA
DYNAMIC AFRICANS: TREVOR STUURMAN.
No success story comes without a certain amount of passion and hard work. Trevor Stuurman is no exception. Over the past few years, the growth of Trevor Stuurman, the young stylist, style connoisseur and brand ambassador has been amazing. From becoming the first ever winner and representative of ELLE South Africa’s Style Reporter search, to working with top local brands such as Markham, Mr Price and Edgars, Stuurman seems to go from strength to strength.
But behind the man with lens almost always kitted out in eclectic patterns and his strong sense of young Africana cool is a man whose artistic and visual development has been a lifetime in the making. Part-time student, fashion stylist, photographer, visual artist, brand representative, and blogger, I recently chatted to Trevor to talk about how he manages to have his fingers in so many pies all at the same time.
Tell us a little bit about yourself - who is Trevor Stuurman?
I am the results of my Mothers prayer.
A visual slashy: film maker/ film post grad (Hons) student / photographer / stylist / art director
First ELLE Style Reporter in association with Blackberry.
What initially drew you to the highly visual and interconnected worlds of fashion, art and photography?
I would like to believe that it is something I was born for. I cannot remember a time in life where art and fashion did not feature.
Every artist is not without a source of inspiration - what’s yours?
For me, home is where the art is. My immediate environment and circle are my fountains of inspiration. So that is Kimberley, Cape Town, Johannesburg and the African continent as a whole. In terms of people that inspire me, my mother Naomi Matshidiso Stuurman is the first name that comes to mind and then secondly my people, Africans. I love how we (Africans) are resourceful and creative by nature.
Absolutely! We live on a continent that’s teeming with such astounding diversity. But back to your professional life. Tell us a little bit about your time as an ELLE Style Reporter - the first one, too?
The year I spent at ELLE has changed my life forever. My journey as an ELLE Style Reporter has to be one of the top highlights in my life. Winning the competition fast tracked my career in the fashion industry and gave me the price power to inspire others and especially those back home in Kimberley. This is probably the best prize ever. Lastly who has not dreamt of working alongside Jackie Burger?
Indeed! So, since beginning your career in fashion and photography, what has changed - both for you, personally, as well as in the landscape of the local SA fashion industry that you’ve been exposed to?
Personally, the growth never stops. Everyday is a new and exciting door opens, sometimes it is overwhelming and intimating but it pushes me to keep conquering.
In terms of the SA fashion landscape, I have noticed a movement/ trend of locals trying to reclaim African pride and aesthetic. This a movement that’s far more visible in Johannesburg as opposed to the laid back Cape Town. There is something fun and fierce about the Jozi fashion and cultural scene. The energy feels far more real and closer to home for me. Globally, the spotlight is on the dark continent. We are the centre of all attraction and inspiration which can be seen on most international runways and editorials.
How important, and what role, does your identity as both a young South African and African play in your aesthetic?
I am on constant quest to find answers to my African identity and more specifically my South African identity. It is the quest of finding my heritage that directs all my aesthetic choices and ultimately it directs and dictates my world.
Besides working for ELLE as a street style and fashion photographer, what other projects have you been involved in?
I have contributed to a number of fashion magazines such as Grazia SA, Edgars Club Magazine and Style Mania (Nigeria). I have also hand my hand in styling for leading menswear retailer Markham and also a music video for Spoek Mathambo I am currently a brand influencer and street style reporter for Sunglass Hut SA. Lastly I am a cultural researcher for commercials and local films.
Lastly, where can you be found online/on social media?
Thanks so much, Trevor!
I highly recommend you follow him on instagram for tons of visual inspiration.
All Africa, All the time.