The Creative Showcase: Wim Steytler

Wim Steytler is a photographer and filmmaker whose work crosses the boundaries between documentary and the surreal. (Supplied)

Wim Steytler is a photographer and filmmaker whose work crosses the boundaries between documentary and the surreal. (Supplied)

Wim Steytler
Currently working as a director for Picture Tree, Wim Steytler is a photographer and filmmaker whose work crosses the boundaries between documentary and the surreal. The video he recently directed for Haezer’s track, Minted, is a prime example of this, in which we see an Afro-punk character and a voodoo sorcerer fighting for the oppressed and marginalised. 

These uniquely African characters, as well as the narrative of the music video, were originally conceived while Steytler was working on a series of photographs of hijacked and abandoned buildings in central Johannesburg. 

With an approach best described as stylised documentary, Steytler’s own work reflects his belief that, “for decades, international artists have been borrowing influences from Africa. But now, homegrown artists are starting to stand up for themselves and [are] making work that’s unapologetically culturally rooted but still internationally relevant and influential.
Our voices are being heard, and Africa is having its moment in the sun and [is] becoming the new creative frontier.”

Read the full article in this week’s M&G Friday

Cape Town jewellery studio and store Milame and Friends
Having always wanted her own jewellery studio, Emma Atkinson decided to open up a space that could double as a retail location and a studio to be shared with a few local designers. Her dream realised, Milame and Friends is now occupied by three jewellers, including Emma herself (Milame Design), Neil Hughes (Neil Hughes Jewellery) and Jessica Lea (Yellow Jewellery), as well as Frey Uhrich, who is an accountant, shopkeeper and artist. The work of each jeweller is handmade, hand-drawn and hand-sawn, which means that every piece is unique. “The nicest thing about working with other creative [people] is being able to talk about ideas and techniques. We all love having a bustling energy around when we work,” Atkinson says.

‘Noir! Noir! Noir!’, a collaborative photo series by The Others
The Others is a collective comprising three unlike-minded creators: Anthony Bila, Stacey van der Walt and Chisanga Mubanga. Inspired by the old adage “If you want to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”, The Others was born out of Bila’s belief that collaboration yields far more interesting results than exploring or expressing a concept one-dimensionally. The trio’s first project together is a series of black-and-white photographs, titled Noir! Noir! Noir!, which takes a cue from the visual styles of film noir and German Expressionism. As much as the series is a showcase of the three’s individual photographic styles, these were combined in post-production to produce something greater than the sum of its parts.

Bright and bold new work by Muti
The Cape Town-based creative studio Muti, owned by Clinton Campbell, Miné Jonker and Brad Hodgskiss, is consistent at producing great work in the fields of design, illustration and typography. Over the past year, the studio has been doing a considerable amount of editorial work for publications including MonocleMen’s Health SA, the Washington Post and Highlife SA, as well as the cover illustration for the Little White Lies magazine. Muti, who recently signed with Folio in the United Kingdom as their international agent, now has a seven-member team, introducing an even greater variety of individual styles to their creative arsenal. With a collaborative approach, the studio makes sure that there is plenty of involvement from everyone, even if it’s just for creative opinions, brainstorming or a fresh set of eyes.

The One Rand Man, a social experiment by Sanlam
For July, national savings month, a 32-year-old architectural consultant from Cape Town is going to the extremes to track his personal finances in a social experiment made possible by Sanlam. Dubbed the One Rand Man, he has received his entire month’s salary in R1 coins and, for the month of July, is sacrificing many of the ordinary conveniences he is accustomed to. Using hidden cameras to capture his unorthodox experiences and interactions, the journey of the One Rand Man, a five-part documentary series, can be followed on YouTube.

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