young artists - any art form - one mic

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mary-Anne Solomons - theatre performer

My name is Mary-Anne Solomons and I was born on 31 March 1989 in Kalksteenfontein, Netreg on the Cape Flats. I grew up with my mom and have a younger sister who is currently writing her matric exam at Cedar High School. I started my schooling career in 1996 at Montana Primary.

As a little girl I loved to sing, especially in church. I remember it was the times of Sisqo and the Spice Girls, I would gather my friends and teach them some songs and dance movement. There was one lady who told my aunt that she should enter me in competitions.

During 1997 I had to drop out of Grade 2 because my mother could not afford to keep me in school. Late 1998 me, my sister and mother moved to my aunt where I’m currently living in Mitchell’s Plain. In 1999 I went back to school where I started Grade 2. My primary school career ended at the age of 14. I enrolled at Cedar High School of the Arts, where I completed Grade 12 in 2008.

In 2007 is when my dream as a performer came true because I went on stage for the first time as a student at Cedar High School. I and a group of fellow drama students entered the WOW competition and we won. I received an award for Best Supporting actress. I also belonged to a Jazz Band and was part of the Rock Challenge (Dance, etc.)

During 2008 I went with “Kanna hy ko huistoe” a drama production to the National Aardklop Festival. I was also part of numerous other productions like “Kinkel in die kabel, The Invisibles, Boesman and Lena, Tietie Moetie Wietie and Mix Masala which was all directed by Peter Braaf, the drama teacher at Cedar High School. That was in the last year of my high school career.

In 2009 I enrolled at New Africa Theatre Academy in Athlone doing a National Certificate in Performing Arts, NQF Level 5. After graduating from New Africa Theatre Academy I became part of a learnership in 2010 and did two professional productions namely Robben Island Youth Speak directed by Thami Mbongo and 11:41 based on a short story and poetry by James Matthews directed by Clare Stopford and assisted by Mbulelo Grootboom.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Q&A with Stephen

ES: What do you hope to achieve with your photography?
S: Initially, I became a photographer thinking that I would have a job that pays me to travel the world. That is obviously still my dream (apart from working for National Geographic one day), but as you grow as a photographer you learn that being a photographer gives you a voice that is quite unlike a voice that anyone else has. Photographers create images from instances in time that actually existed, even though the images are a result of the imagination/mind, they carry with them a sense of authenticity. It is this sense of authenticity that gives photography its power. And it is this power that photography carries with it that I wish to harness, so that I may be able to express myself the way I want to. This has become my new goal as a photographer, which is more important than travelling and making money.

ES: Who are your artistic influences and what have you learnt from past artists in your field?
S: Visual artists who inspire me? I have a few people who I could say were part of the reason why I decided to become a photographer, James Nachtwey being one of them. I have a few personal photographer friends who inspire me. The one that stands out most in my mind is a man named Garth Stead. Garth was the best photographer I ever met in person. He was also undoubtedly the best picture editor in Cape Town, possibly South Africa. Sadly he can’t carry on teaching us photographers the way he used to, he passed away last year. The other inspiration I have is a youngish photographer who works at foto24 in Cape Town, his name is Michael Hammond. He is a photographer with a particular knack for portraiture, and is already developing a style of his own, and his reputation amongst the photographer fraternity is growing.

ES: What is the hardest shoot/job you've been on so far?
S: If you were to ask me what the most difficult shoot is I’ve ever done, I’d probably tell you about a job I was sent on one late afternoon about 20 kilometres outside of Cape Town on the N7. It was a motor vehicle accident involving three trucks. When I arrived on the scene, the road was covered with the contents of the trucks, which included beer, and milk cartons. The thing that made it such a difficult job were the five corpses lying on the road, on the axel of one of the trucks, next to the road, and one hanging out of the driver’s side… All the bodies were covered in slightly blood-stained white sheets. Post-traumatic stress works strangely, while I was there I was totally ok, but for days afterwards I couldn’t help but see that accident whenever I closed my eyes.

ES: If there's one boundary or misconception you could knock down about photography, what would it be?
S: If there is one misconception I’d like to do away with, it’d be that digital photography is in some way better, superior, etc, than the traditional film technology used before. I could go on for ages about the advantages and disadvantages of both technologies. I count myself fortunate because of the fact that I have used both technologies, as new and up and coming photographers today never learned photography with film. Each technology has its advantages, and I think that both need to be learned and understood so that you will be better equipped to tackle any photographic assignment.

Stephen Williams - photographer

I am a photographer with experience mainly in the newspaper photography field. I gained this experience working for the last two years at Die Burger, Cape Times, Beeld, Rapport, Kaap Rapport and Cape Argus. To work as a photographer for a newspaper means that you need to be able to shoot almost any kind of photography imaginable: sport, news, fashion, advertising, promotional, portraiture, celebrity (paparazzi), architecture, feature, documentary, social unrest, marches, and sometimes, bullet dodging. These are all things that I have had to shoot at one time or another. Apart from newspapers, I work for Old Mutual, accommodation companies, and private wedding clients.

Visit Stephen's blog to see some of his work

Monday, November 15, 2010

Q&A with Shukry

ES: Who are your artistic influences?
S: Mother nature, Gustave Dore, Dave Correia and Spike Milligan but most of my influence comes from the music I listen to, I try to resonate what I hear visually as the music I like is generally made up of many layers just like an animation

ES: What have you learnt from artists in your field, who have come before you?
S: What not to do

ES: What made you decide to work on the The Killing of the Imam?
S: It was a great platform for me to collaborate with the other creatives involved and I also liked the idea of doing something that the broader Muslim community could respond to as animation/motion graphics isn't something the Muslim community is well-versed in, and last but certainly not least the chance to help tell the story of such a prominent and key figure in the history of our country.

ES: What inspired the animation style of this film?
S: Nothing really, I just wanted to create the right mood to fit the story and illustration style.

ES: If there's one boundary or misconception you could knock down about being an animator, what would it be?

S: That it's tediously hard work: the audience sees the final product but are unaware of the process. And just like any sector of the creative industry it's a dog-eat-dog world, folk will screw their best friend over for next to nothing, it's an unfortunate reality.

Shukry Adams - animator

Animator Shukry Adams was part of the team behind The Killling of the Imam. He will be at Expression Session talking about the process and about his field.

I studied graphic design and photography at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth and ventured south in search of more halaal food outlets and in the process taught myself 2D animation and started doing motion graphics. I've had two previous jobs and have been freelancing for about a year and a half now. I've been in Cape Town since 2007. I’m a proud father of three levels of cynicism. I hope to proverbially nurture them so they can in turn take care of my mentality when I grow old and weary...

View my showreel at: