Artist embarks on new professional ventures

Renowned fine art photographer Marlene Neumann, in collaboration with Ann Bryant Art Gallery, will be hosting her first and last local exhibition, entitled Full Circle on November 3.

To be held at her studio, Centre of Photography and Light on Kent Road in Vincent at 6pm, the show marks the end of 38 years of teaching and practicing locally and the start of a new chapter in Neumann’s life that will see her expanding more on publishing, meditation and podcasting.

The exhibition will feature some of her earliest original photographs as well as more than 150 images and the popular works from her darkroom collection.

Neumann’s journey in the world of art commenced with her studies at the East London School of Art, under the auspices of Port Elizabeth Technikon in the 1980s. Her primary field of study was graphic design. A testament to her talent and dedication, she ascended to the position of head of the department after starting her career as a lecturer at the college and this led to decades of fruitful work with students.

One of the distinguishing features of her work is her mastery of the black and white darkroom process. Her prints have earned her numerous awards and have become staple parts of the imagery of the Eastern Cape with many of them housed in businesses, hospitals, and schools.

Nature is the primary subject of her work because she believes that nature is the ultimate teacher, revealing life’s inherent beauty.

Neumann believes now is the season for her to pursue new challenges especially where publishing is concerned as her third book heads off to the printers to be released in 2024.

Entitled, A Journey Home, the book builds on the idea that underpins the exhibition — closing off chapters and making room for new experiences and avenues of personal growth to manifest.

“When I started working as an artist it was impossible to exhibit photography and I was a key part of changing that.

“I have this sense that something new is on the horizon for me and through courage I am opening myself up to it.

“As this is the end of a chapter, I hope that people come to the exhibition and leave with a piece of my work because all the pieces remind one of the beauty of life and our responsibility to it,” she said.

INNOVATOR: Marlene Neumann with her pup Grace in her studio in Vincent. Picture: TAMMY FRAY


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