Getting shot in Joburg

Ponte, by "I was shot in Joburg"

It sounds like a Hollywood script. A Joburg architect on holiday in Cape Town commits a misdemeanour and gets sentenced to three months community service. Not wanting to have to return to Cape Town he proposes to the court that he contribute to a community closer to home. He comes up with the idea to work with a children’s shelter to train youngsters in how to take photographs with disposable cameras. The plan is to work towards an exhibition of their work after three months. “All I wanted was to give them a night they would never forget,” says 35-year-old Bernard Viljoen.

Cue the scene of the judge stamping “accepted” on the proposal. That was the start of the project called “I was shot in Joburg”.  Now two years later an end to Viljoen’s  “community service” is nowhere in sight. When I contact him for an interview after buying one of the project’s photographs at Market on Main, in Joburg inner city’s Maboneng District, he is on his way to Cape Town to launch “I was shot in Cape Town”. Bloemfontein is next. Continue reading

The Brutal Year of Robyn Penn

#78. Go see Robyn Penn’s extraordinary exhibition at the Brodie Stevenson Gallery in Craighall. Joburg skies dominate the work, sometimes clear, other times cloud-filled and broody, or brilliantly blue. The Brutal Year is a collection of works about loss and longing, life and death. The paintings are beautiful, precise, and evocative skyscapes grounded by architectural forms. The tops of Killarney’s buildings line each canvas, stretching across them and hinting of other lives above the ground. Beyond them is pure sky.

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Morning Light

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