StilledLife in CityLife Arts

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By Edward Tsumele

A new photographic intiative that is aimed at giving members of the public an opportunity to interpret the effect of social distancing as a result of the current situation of COIVD-19 has been launched. This intiative which will see 100 of the images selected by a panel of judges will be exhibited during the RMB Turbine Art Fair. This new addition to RMB Turbine Art Fair, is organised bya new Non Profit organisation (NPO) called Turbine Art Fair (NPO), a new off short of the RMB Turbine Art Fai. This photographic initiative called ‘Stilled Life’ – a national community COVID-19 photographic project, will see community members submit pictures that tell the story of their lives and that of their community through these images. Already community members have started sending in their entries capturing their lives in the middle of a pandemic while they are quarantined in their homes in isolation from the rest of society and freinds during this lockdown. If going by what has been submited so far this segmeent of this year’s RMB Turbine Art Fair, which will take place virtually this year at a date still to be annoucned, promises to be an interesting feature of the art fair as it deals with issues people are currently grappling with because of the presence of the coronavirus in people’s lives.

What this intiative is offering is essentially a platform that South Africans can use to tell their stories by submitting their own photographs, documenting ‘life in the time of COVID SA’. Entries are now open and close at midnight on the 19th of July 2020. There are three categories for entry: #YourStory, #NewNormal, and #HelpingHands.

The selected photos will then go on to be auctioned by Strauss & Co, with all proceeds going to the BASA Artists Relief Fund.

“The submissions will be featured on the ‘Stilled Life’ social media pages throughout the project. Our judging panel includes Greg Maloka, Savannah Feeke-Fortune, Musa Nxumalo and Greg Marinovich.

“This pandemic has affected each and every one of us but in very different ways, and through this competition we can give South Africans a platform to share their stories and experiences, and at the same time contribute to the Artists Relief Fund. At times like this, art really does matter,” says Glynis Hyslop, founder of the Turbine Art Fair.

The Turbine Art Fair (TAF) is a registered Non Profit Organisation, 152-943 NPO. ‘Stilled Life’ is presented by the Turbine Art Fair (NPO), in partnership with the Forum Company, and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA). The auction is sponsored by Strauss & Co.


My beautiful Parish of the Immaculate Conception in Rosebank…our beloved Parish priests Father Thabo and Father Theo requested that we all send through photographs of ourselves and our families so that they could attach them to the pews. This would make them feel like we were all celebrating Holy Mass with them each week when they recorded our virtual Mass. They even took it one step further and attached our pictures to the pew where they know we sit in the Church each week. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20…albeit virtually,’ explains Liese Homan whose submission is entitled Holly Mass

Lisa Bowes submitted Remains of The Day. “One of those small magic moments – silently shared by father and daughter . Caught between worlds with the day dying and the night being born; all overlaid with the stillness of Covid times. Not a car on the road and not a soul in sight. It reminded me of the passage by Admiral Richard E Byrd in the Antarctic in 1934. The day was dying the night was being born – but with great peace. Here were the imponderable processes and forces of the cosmos harmonious and soundless. Harmony that was it ! That is what came out of the silence – a gentle rhythm…. the music of the spheres perhaps,” says Bowes.

HOLDING HANDS | Bernard Brand
Bernard Brand’s submission is called Holding Hands. “This is a message of hope that one day we’ll be able to hold our loved ones again or help a stranger across the road. Even if the act isn’t necessarily physical hand holding, it’s the act of lending a hand that counts,” he says.

GREEN | Mosa Anita Kaiser
“My father’s gloves are sitting outside in the garden. My mother does not want them in the house,’ says Mosa Anita Kaiser about her entry of two gloves lying in the garden. The entry is called Green.

Carla Lewis has this to say about her entry called Dog Days Will Soon be Over (Hopefully): “Kryger, the wired-haired fox terrier gazes longingly out of the window, during stage 5 of South Africa’s lockdown.”

To enter the competition go to:


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