Trevor Appleson - 2 November to 23 November 2000
Beaches produced in January 2000, is a series of colour studio portraits shot on location at various beaches in and around Cape Town. South Africa, now a fledging new democracy, the Group Areas Act being a thing of the past, is still socially and economically divided. Previously segregated areas, these beaches are now the place where integration naturally occurs and are a powerful reflection of the changing face of the new South Africa.
The project focuses on the incredible cultural spectrum that exists within these areas. The emphasis is on the artificial element, the fact that the image is a construction, a representation. A portable studio, using a mixture of sunlight and flash, creates a neutral space. The true context of the subjects is not to be found in the surroundings but in themselves. Shot against a black background, everyone from gangsters in the informal settlement of Vrygrond (situated on the beach), to the wealthy on Clifton 4th Beach were highlighted. Isolated from environment, people pictured as product, through subtle labelling reveal an informing, visceral and open portrait of a new South African community.