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Marlene goes through the full ‘Full Circle’

Photographing the beauty of nature for the past 44 years, East London-based fine art photographer

Marlene Neumann is showcasing more than 150 images in her latest exhibition titled Full Circle.

Having opened on November 3, the exhibition, run in conjunction with the Ann Bryant Art Gallery, takes place at Neumann’s Vincent-based Centre for Photography and Light.

While full circle can mean a variety of things to different people, for Neumann, 58, this exhibition represents the cycle of her life.

Inspired by “Everything in nature works in cycles, everything goes full circle and so do we,” said Neumann.

“I can feel myself getting older, and slowing down a bit, I can feel my life coming full cycle.

“Right now in my world I’ve been working with an editor in UK and have been publishing books.

“The most recent is titled A Dance with Life and my next one should be out in February. So all my work will be in books now and this is partly where the inspiration for putting together this exhibition comes from,” she explained.

Featuring photographs from the beginning of her career to her latest work, the exhibition boasts the wonders Neumann has had the pleasure of capturing over the years.

“The photographs are predominantly from South Africa but also from Namibia, Paris, Florence and other travels.

“It’s photographs taken in the moment. Throughout my career I’ve photographed things that others didn’t see,” Neumann said.

“I think people miss a lot of life because they’re not looking. These pictures showcase nature and the land we walk, mother Earth in a way, I think, many may not have looked at it before.

“On show will be some of my earliest original photographs using my unique black and white darkroom process which creates one of a kind fine art photographs.

“Essentially the exhibition is inspired by everything that I’ve done, with a clear emphasis on nature.”

“You’ll be taken on a journey through the joy of soul photography, seeing the beauty of the rhythm of life through nature.”

Popular works from her darkroom collection including Witsand, Journey Home, Roadside Baobab,

Downstairs Door to Forest Walk and The Wisdom of the Elephants will also be on display.

“There will be a mixture of dark room and digital work as well. In a sense that is also like a full circle process to me.”

She said putting this collection together had been a nostalgic process.

“I would often sit on the floor while preparing for the exhibition and not get any work done,” she quipped

“I’d just sit remembering the moments when I took and produced these images.

“It’s been a very soulful experience, putting this altogether. I see this exhibition as a celebration of my life as a photographer, and why not do it while I’m still here.

“And even though we don’t live forever, my photographs and books will. And that is really wonderful.

“I remember when I was younger I always wanted everyone to own one of my images.

“And now knowing that my photographs are all over the world, knowing that many who have left the

Eastern Cape or South Africa have one of my photographs to remind them of home brings me so much joy.”

She said she hoped all who visited the exhibition would feel a sense of connection to nature.

“Photography is magic to me, you capture a split second. I hope people feel that.

“I hope they leave with a heart that’s filled up. And that they feel that reconnection to nature, feel a compassion for nature.

“There is a big variety of images on show and I hope people take time and sit and go through them and reflect.”

The exhibition runs until November 10 from 10am-3pm at the Marlene Neumann Centre for Photography and Light at 8 Kent Road, Vincent.

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