Situated on Bree Street, Cape Town’s trendy hub of restaurants, retail spaces and art galleries, Beautifull Life is the home of Youngblood Arts and Culture Development, a centre for creativity and artistic sustainability. If its aim is to showcase beautiful things in an aesthetically pleasing space, it’s done just that. It provides a platform for emerging young talent, as well as supporting the arts in various forms.
Youngblood was created four years ago by Roger Jungblut, who saw that the talent in South Africa needs two very important things: capital and exposure. Youngblood attempts (and largely succeeds) in providing both. It not only offers creative workshops, training and business skills for young artists, but a beautiful exhibition space for completed work.
As part of First Thursdays, I visited the Beautifull Life studios for the opening of Unpublished: The Images Behind the Headlines. It was without doubt the highlight of my evening.
News photographers and photojournalists have front-row seats to some of history’s most consequential events. For every image seen by the public, countless others remain unpublished. Cape Town EWN reporter Aletta Gardner sought to resurrect images that, for their haunting subject matter or artistic statement, deserve to be seen.
The exhibition feels as if you’re witness to personal subject matter, and in large part you are. The images capture an intimate glimpse at the people who, in the face of poverty or destitution, have their own unique stories. Not just that, it also offers insight – via the short blurbs that accompany each photograph – into the photographers who have managed to capture these moments.
Unpublished is showing at Beautifull Life until October, and for its tenderness, fascinating images and haunting depictions of life in its various moments, is well worth checking out. The works are on sale, and all profits go to Iliso Labantu, a photography collective that supports photographers from previously disadvantaged communities.
Where Youngblood, Beautifull Life Building, 70–72 Bree Street, CBD
When 4 September – 4 October 2014
Contact +27 21 424 0074, youngblood-africa.com
Photography Juliette Bissett/HSMimages.co.za