Text and photos by Marita van Rooyen
“Reclaim your art. Every spirit is an artist, and without art a spirit has no means of expression. Let your creative spirit speak: write a poem; paint a picture; get out the watercolours and make a card; take a beautiful picture; play music; create a gourmet meal or plant a garden. Know your spirit through your own artistic expression. Enjoy creativity for yourself.”
So says Marutsca Breitenmoser of the Pure & Simple Shop and Gallery in Windhoek, which recently played host to Polarity, photographer Tony Figueira’s latest exhibition.
With Polarity, Tony took a deep look at the contrasts in our lives and how art is first and foremost a way to open up your spirit and spread your creative wings. “Even though we come from the same source and we bleed the same red, my world is not your world. We are all so different and need to open our eyes to the realities of others.”
“I come from a traditional school of photography and am amazed at how flexible I’ve become: messing around with images, playing with technology, and experiencing with the polarity of life in general. I’ve fallen in love with the digital age. It’s such a far cry from what I ever imagined photography would become, and what it is yet to become. It is a world moving at the speed of light, changing so fast that what we wake up to is significantly different from what we fell asleep with.”
With Polarity Tony played around with different photographic themes – turning day into night and dark into light – which, as he stresses, ‘means something different to each individual viewer’. Life is a game of light versus dark, and as human beings we are always searching for light. He adds that Polarity gives viewers a different perspective ‘of my crazy mind’ and makes them wonder what in life is actually real. The answer is simple: nothing. “Everything in life can be manipulated.”
The exhibition featured a diverse range of images taken in recent years, including the soft shapes of the female body, examples of playing with light, colours, textures and intriguing shapes, and a touch of the documentary photography that originally skyrocketed this inventive photographer’s career.