South African visual artist Trevor Stuurman is launching his first solo exhibition at the Doyle Wham gallery, London, this Africa Month.
Stuurman is set to showcase his latest body of work “Life Through the Lens” from May 13 until July 2. Dubbed the UK's first contemporary African photography gallery, Doyle Wham aims to connect African creatives with the rest of the world.
In a recent interview with The Observer, Stuurman, who is one of the first artists to showcase at Doyle Wham, said the gallery is a much-needed platform for African artists.
He said: “I feel like so much was stolen from Africa, and it’s about reclaiming that. That’s why I think photography is such a powerful medium.
“It allows us to retell the story and show what (the continent) looks like now, to cultivate a better understanding of what Africa is.”
In this exhibition, Stuurman presents a series of self-portraits to illustrate his creative journey over the past decade.
Each image was taken to mark a significant moment in Stuurman’s life and this crucial, intimate context will be conveyed through audio recordings accompanying the artwork.
“With my work, I always shoot black people in elevated positions and highly stylised and reimagined because in the books of history we don’t exist in those spaces where we are elevated, celebrated and shown in the highest form of excellence.
“I feel that this is the golden era. I don’t think there has ever been a time like this where black creatives have a voice that is heard, seen, recognised and celebrated all at once and I think it’s a beautiful time to exist,” explained Stuurman.
While Covid-19 brought many creatives across the globe to their knees, Imme Dattenberg-Doyle and Sofia Carreira-Wham decided to open a gallery that is exclusively for under-represented photographers from Africa.
“We were aware of so many amazing photographers who were Africa-based but who weren’t being exhibited or even noticed,” said Dattenberg-Doyle.
The gallery was founded in October 2020 with an itinerant programme of physical and digital exhibitions, as well as participations in art fairs such as Photo London and Abuja Art Week.
Doyle Wham is dedicated to promoting innovative, emerging voices who want to showcase the beauty of Africa through photography.
Stuurman is still basking in the success of another groundbreaking art fair titled “Botho Art Collective”, where Stuurman showcased his works alongside Nelson Makamo, Bahati Simoens and Cristina Martinez.
Born in Kimberley in 1992, Stuurman discovered his passion for photography when he was 14 and he’s never looked back since.
He has worked with international brands and has worked with artists such as Black Coffee, Ciara, Naomi Campbell, Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
Stuurman has been credited for the styling and costume design on Beyoncé's 2020 film “Black Is King.”