Artist Statement

Hazel Mphande

In 2012 I was diagnosed with clinical depression. Growing up, speaking about mental illness, in a black and religious home, was completely taboo. As a child, I would experience feeling tired and overwhelmed and I assumed that these feelings would eventually go away, but they didn’t. I continued to experience mental exhaustion well into my adulthood and quite often it affected my work and relationships. I am interested in how we process and cope, when our minds are still trying to grasp our lived experiences, especially when dealing with trauma; how it effects our bodies and, in return, how we see the world.

My work focuses on the way our memories manifest in our consciousness when affected by generational trauma. The effects of trauma identity and the abstract representation of nature is characterised using long shutter speed and double exposure, using blur to create a sense of movement and transition. These photographs embody a temporal impression of fleeting experiences, memory, growth and decay, and begins to mimic the shape-shifting apparitions of recollection and reminiscence of transition.


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