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Bring something to the table

Creative director Kassie is represented by LUSTRE so we thought it fitting that she set a brief for our photographers and art directors to shoot during the SA lockdown. "Bring Something to the Table" invited the LUSTRE photographers to think critically and creatively about what they have access to – food. Kassie explains “Food has taken centre stage globally during this pandemic – questioning the politics, ethics and systems that let some barely survive whilst others thrive. Our relationship with food is complex, it's sensorial in a time when we're being asked not to touch even our face. It's nostalgic, reminding us of meals shared and recipes passed down through generations. It's cultural and seasonal and for many, becoming scarce.”

Kevin Mackintosh & Daryl McGregor

World-renowned creative duo art director Daryl McGregor and photographer Kevin Mackintosh developed their concept around a food staple – the humble slice of bread. ‘Our daily bread' still life images raise dialogues around food security, socio-political issues and the right of access to affordable quality food in an economically deeply divided South Africa – sustainability, nourishment, quality and the 'hard to swallow’ bits are all portrayed.

Sacha Waldman

“My concept focuses on an iconic food source the world over – corn. I sprayed the corn gold to enhance its iconic significance. As with most of my work I chose to shoot it in a way that juxtaposed its shiny gold coating with poverty in the streets of New York. These times are very tough for everyone. America is fraught with bad politics and the people with power making selfish choices are just making it harder for the average American.”

Alexa Singer

“I am thankful to all of those working in the long line of food production and supply that enables the food to be on your table. But food scarcity is real and is exacerbated by the lockdown. Soup kitchens around South Africa are working tirelessly to provide meals for the many in dire need. Relying on volunteers and funding from private donors, organisations are stretched to the limit and bombarded daily with pleas for assistance.”

Mark Newton

“For this brief I wanted to keep an open mind and was looking to shoot a reportage image. I kept a camera at hand for over a week waiting for the perfect moment. When I saw these heirloom tomatoes from my garden I knew this was the shot – it took two minutes to shoot with no lighting or styling. I was waiting for something to happen and it happened: the tomatoes laid out just like this were so naturally photogenic and beautiful. I didn't want the image to look composed, yet ironically it ended up being just that.”

Francois Visser

“My thought process for this brief began with food waste and considering how this can be repurposed. Having limited access to resources can force one to see things anew and cast something like food in a different mould. My creative process with this project was quite unstructured: I began experimenting with freezing food waste like banana peels and egg shells which resulted in beautiful sculpture-like forms. Allowing things to be a bit more fragmented leaves room for invention, improvisation and accident.”

Aart Verrips

“For this brief I decided to focus on whole ingredients from my fridge and pantry and make these into art. In these still life compositions I play with texture and colour to provoke emotions and transform the mundane – like packaging – into something beautiful. I introduced glass balls into the compositions to play with dimensions and distortion. I love making something familiar appear new and interesting.”

Kassie Naidoo - Creative Director

With a career spanning over three decades in the creative industries, Kassie says: “The ability to respond to a challenge is what drives me as a creative thinker and there has never been a better time to be creative than right now." Kassie, together with her creative teammate Ayesha Mukadam were one of only six finalist teams for SA's first social impact art prize initiated by the Rupert Museum. Their project - A Seat at the Table set out to explore the sharing of food and food stories as a catalyst to breaking down barriers between geographically, socially/culturally and economically diverse communities to foster empathy, understanding and hopefully a kinder society. The hope is that their project would be able to go anywhere in the world where the simple act of "breaking bread together could potentially break down the barriers to peace and strife.

For more information, contact Chantel Green

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