The process of producing images can allow one to hold personal histories in one’s hand. An assistant to memory, an image can outlive the people captured in the frame. Noncedo Charmaine‘s fascination with photography began at home with her mother’s photo album, an object that combines the above mentioned qualities.
Reflecting on how her interest in photography grew and how she began to see it as her creative medium, Noncedo explains that, “It is exciting that you are able to capture a moment in a frame and that moment becomes a life of its own as it gets to live in different spaces and different people.” Noncedo’s work transforms the people in the image into statuesque characters. Viewers are privy to sections of stories, and in between moments of stillness. Playing with highlights, shadows and different perspectives, she moulds the environments in which the people photographed are seen.
“A camera is a tool at my disposal. I have a love-hate relationship with it. At times it gives you access to places and people. With people it makes it COMPLICATED BECAUSE AT TIMES YOU CREATE OUT OF SPONTANEITY with friends, egos and money get in the way. It also makes you vulnerable too, as it is a quick money making tool for the hustlers. This makes you shoot less,” Noncedo explains about her relationship with her camera.
Collaboration has become an empowering and stimulating force for those in creative spaces, and Noncedo has not shied away from this. She is currently working on a project with artists Pacifique Kihanguila (Vroomy Designs). That opens up questions related to trust and intimacy. Sparked from a tattoo that Pacifique Kihanguila did on her back that she named ‘Amaka’, it inspired the first haircut he did, and so the project continues to unfold.
Noncedo also has an ongoing series with her twin sister called Carbon Copy, with their most recent output being the t-shirt line ‘Black’ which celebrates what black means to people.