Phumzile Khanyile is a Market Photo Workshop graduate originally from Soweto. She is the recipient of the 2015 Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography, a developmental platform and opportunity to continue activism through photography in the spirit of late South African documentary photographer Gisèle Wulfsohn. This afforded the young artist the opportunity to produce a body of work under the guidance of renowned photographer Ayana V. Jackson.
What followed was Plastic Crowns.
A series of self portraits, Plastic Crowns contains a strong narrative expressed through a striking visual language. Phumzile’s work explores aspects of women’s lives through evocations of her own experiences; breaking down social taboos in its explicit exploration of sexual politics. There is little distinction between her craft and her own life in the images, which read like a private journal of informal snap shots made public. Her gritty aesthetic, characterized by harsh shadows, soft focus and lush textures, lends her work it’s notable emotive quality.