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GUY TILLIM: DEPARTURE (article first published : 2003-02-16)

A captivating photographic exhibition entitled Departure by South African photojournalist Guy Tillim will be launched in February at the NSA Galleries. The collection of photographs presenting images from Tillimís journeys over more than a decade will be published by Bell-Roberts Publishing.

The photographs on the exhibition and in the book display Tillimís distinctive aesthetic. His images are often of harsh realities but he is seldom invasive or confrontational in his approach. He tends to look at situations from a side view as a passive but empathetic spectator and seeks an unusual yet humane moment to provide a lingering disquiet to the image.

Tillimís photojournalism has been widely published in the years since he started photographing professionally in 1986. At this time he joined Afrapix, a collective of South African photographers with whom he worked closely until 1990.

His work as a freelance photographer in South Africa for the local and foreign media included positions with Reuters between 1986 and 1988, and with Agence France Presse in 1993 and 1994. He has received many awards for his work including the Mondi Award (South Africa) for photojournalism in 1998 (for his essay of images entitled Congo River: journey from Kisangani to Kinshasa) and the same award in 1999 (for a series of images on the Himba people of Northern Namibia).

He was also a finalist for the French Prix Care for Humanitarian Reportage, France 2001 and the winner of the Prix SCAM (Societe Civile des Auteurs Multimedia) Roger Pic, 2002 for his photographs of Kuito, Angola. His photographs also formed the basis of the exhibition and book Amulets and Dreams: War Youth and Changing Africa (Pretoria) 2002 which was exhibited at the launch of the African Union in Durban in July 2002.

Recently he was selected among 100 photographers in the world to photograph Africa for a book titled A Day In The Life of Africa published by Harper Collins in September 2002.

His work has been included in numerous exhibitions of South African art and photography, in South Africa and internationally. The South African National Gallery commissioned him to produce a portfolio of photographs on the Transkei, South Africa in 1990 and, more in 2001 his images of Kuito, Angola, were the subject of a solo exhibition at the South African Museum, Cape Town as well as in Paris on the occasion of winning the Prix SCAM Roger award.

Departure will open at the NSA on February 18 and runs until March 15 before travelling to Johannesburg where it will be exhibited at PhotoZa from March 19 to April 12. On May 6 it will open in Cape Town at the Good Hope Gallery at the Castle where it will run until June 29.

The book retails for R250 and is available at all leading bookstores. More information from Michael Stevenson on 021 685 2220 or e-mail michael@michaelstevenson.com




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