Collective Memories from Mitchell’s Plain reimagine Tretchikoff in new work

Cape Town-based actor Tarryn Lamb, photographer Lindsey Appolis, stylist Romy Alfino and make-up Farzanah Siblall look at the work of artist Vladimir Tretchikoff in their latest collaborative series, Reimagining Tretchikoff. 

The collective works under the name Memories from Mitchell’s Plainand their personal histories and similar backgrounds allow for an interpretation that feels cohesive, modern and relevant in modern day South Africa. We spoke to photographer Lindsey Appolis on behalf of the collective.

What inspired the work?
I guess as coloured kids growing up on the Cape Flats our first exposure to art and for that matter, famous painters was visiting our aunty or grandmas’ houses and seeing Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl hanging on the wall. It was the closest thing to a gallery for us. This shared memory triggered the collaboration between myself, Tarryn, Romy and Farzanah. It also helped that Taryn (the model) had always seen a bit of herself in the Chinese Girl. What got me really excited about the collab, was how I could use different lighting techniques in my photography that I had not really done before to bring Tretchikoff’s paintings to life.

Tell us about the members of the collective.
I’m a Cape Town born photographer, who has been shooting professionally for the past four years. I shoot a variety of things including street photography, production stills, fashion and lots and lots of dance. By day Romy shapes the minds of our youth as a kindergarten teacher and stylist supremo on weekend. Farzanah is a talented make up artist with over 10 years experience on the stage and screen. Tarryn Lamb is a multi-award winning actor/singer/dancer of stage and screen. She recently won a SAFTA for her role in the soapie Suidooster. They’re pretty amazing.

What was the process behind putting it together?
If I could put words to the process – we used a “tight-loose-tight approach” through us being clear on what we wanted to achieve, i.e. defining the goal upfront and then allowing each of us to go away and do our thing. On the day of the shoot ,this approach allowed us to bring our skill set and strengths. The colour lighting for the images was created with colour cellophane that I bought at a convenience store.

One Comment

  1. Elizabeth (Herman) Weinerwow

    Wow so proud of your stunning work and even more proud of Lindsey thats from my former neighbourhood…love your work