In photos: Don’t miss the PEER group exhibition now on show at the SMAC Gallery in Cape Town. On show until 18 November 2017.


We recently visited SMAC Gallery‘s latest group exhibition, PEER, where Orms Print Room & Framing were proud to have produced the work for 4 out of the 7 exhibiting artists – Sydelle Willow Smith, Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou, Musa M. Nxumalo and Margaret Courtney-Clarke.

PEER is a photographic exhibition showcasing selected photographers producing a variety of mediums and size works on the African continent.The photographers in PEER  foster their ability to see, and be seen, in their intended manner. According to SMAC Gallery, ‘one of the many challenges in contemporary photography is selection. Photographers must practice the art of whittling – as classical sculptors would peel, hew and pare down a slab of wood or marble – the photographer of today must whittle away at his or her body of work, to select only a fraction of the photographs that were captured. The selection of images in PEER will represent each photographer’s unique view of their chosen subjects, but what is perhaps more thought-provoking, is what (and whom) has been photographed’.

Above: Margaret Courtney-Clarke

Despite the nature of modern technology not being hindered by film and chemical processes, they are still burdened by the amount of subjects and issues to engage with and focus on. ‘With such an abundance of subject mater, within hand’s, or eye’s, reach, photographers are trapped into gruelling tasks of pruning thousands of digital files to select a handful of the very best images for print’.

Above: Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou

While today’s photographic technology allows for the practicality of the discipline, the medium still faces challenges that many other creative forms do not. With the rise in smart phones and their ability to take quality photographs, the only thing providing the elitism is the cost of equipment. Given the expansive pool of practitioners working in the discipline, there is a large amount of competition and one-upmanship, which has become the norm. But these exhibitors embrace their peers, teaching and sharing knowledge and skills.

Above: Sydelle Willow Smith

Above: Musa N. Nxumalo


Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou (Porto-Novo, Benin)
Shamil Balram (Durban, South Africa)
Margaret Courtney-Clarke (Swakopmund, Namibia)
Zara Julius (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Musa N. Nxumalo (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Ashley Walters (Cape Town, South Africa)
Sydelle Willow Smith (Cape Town, South Africa)

This exhibition is running from 28 October 2017 until 18 November 2017 at SMAC Gallery Cape Town.

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