30 Nov Graduate Series: Megan Mitchell
Having recently graduated from Stellenbosch Academy with a BA in Applied Design, majoring in photography, Megan Mitchell is looking forward to next year when she plans to be doing freelance work, assisting and building her portfolio. She says, “The field of photography is so broad and it’s exciting in the way that I am able to explore all the various facets and in doing so acquire the many skills that are necessary to be a well rounded photographer.”
Megan’s grad portfolio reflects this exploration into different types of photography.
Her portrait series ‘Appropriation’ makes use of the parody of classic renaissance portrait paintings to comment on the contemporary fashion industry: Portraits, which are recognizable and clichéd due to the many ways in which they have been duplicated and reproduced in different forms, were specifically chosen. Social media sites and street style blogs are influencing major fashion houses. Individuals are setting trends in their particular sub-cultures by purchasing vintage and second hand items and reworking them into mainstream culture. Trends and styles are appropriated and therefore nothing is ever ‘new’ or truly original.
‘Eradication’, below, was taken to highlight The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s “Exit Strategy” for which more than 500 000 blue gum trees, which form part of the greater Cecilia Forest, are being eradicated to make way for the growth of Fynbos and other indigenous trees.
Cape Town residents use the forest extensively for leisure and recreational activities. The Fynbos and few indigenous trees which have been replanted have not survived with the Fynbos retreating to cooler parts at the top of Table Mountain.
‘The Swart Family’ photo aims to show the relationship between members of kin: The sons are greatly influenced by their father’s interest in music and the arts and he is a prominent figure in the household. In the studio portrait, through the use of ‘the pose’ and ‘the gaze’, the relationship between father and sons is further enforced.
‘Vans’ below is one of a series of sports apparel images shot in studio: The process was one of researching how Vans had a profound impact on the development of skateboarding. By hanging the skateboard and shoes with string emulating various board tricks and using dramatic lighting, contemporary images have been created that embody the spirit of the brand. The inclusion of the Sector 9 skateboard places emphasis on the importance of heritage.
‘The Butcher’ aims to show the sterile and clinical nature of the butchery. The post production technique references Paul Grahams, “American Nights”.
For more from Megan visit her personal photography blog: whiteseahorse.blogspot.com.