We are trying to establish a gallery space at the Atrium on the second floor. ( The Atrium is the University of Glamorgan’s Media Centre in Cardiff and where I teach part-time) Probably going to name it Oriel f2.
It will be a place for students past and present to show their work, get some experience of exhibition organisation and generally liven the place up. The first show opened last week, Estamos Juntos. It’s the work of past graduate Christina Williams and the front piece to the show explains what it’s all about.
‘Much of our perception of African culture over the years has come to us through various aid campaigns; the result is a wrongly held view that Africa has little to offer other than misery and suffering.
In 2008/9 I embarked upon a trip to Mozambique as a volunteer with the Christian organisation REMAR. I spent a year living within the communities of Maputo and MaChava working with young orphaned children. During this time I was able to develop my Portuguese and initiate art and photographic projects that resulted in the children exhibiting their work on National Children’s Day, which was attended by the former president of the country. My final month was spent travelling the country, when I was able to document women traders.
It was important for me that through the images people’s perception of the culture would be challenged. All the photographs were taken with the full consent of the subjects and in the case of the children at the orphanages, I had been working with them for months building a firm relationship before beginning to photograph them.
The images of the women street traders show the dignity that prevails as they go about their daily lives. Again I photographed only after gaining consent.
At all times my aim was to document, in as honest a way as possible, the wonderful spirit that resides in African culture.’
– Christina Williams
Estamos Juntos translates from the Portuguese to ‘we are joined’ which clearly expresses Christina’s relationship with the people she lived and worked with during her time in Mozambique. The images are a delight to be in the company of and are already proving very popular with staff and students alike. It’s on for six weeks, coming down on the 29th April.