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The Gift of Water

Fine art photographer SaySay.Love’s first solo exhibition, The Gift Of Water, took place at One11 Gallery late last year, shortly followed by The Gift of Water Chapter II at AVA Gallery.


     Inspired by his emotional connection to nature, SaySay.Love – a fine art photographer working only with his iPhone – sees the limitations of using his phone as both a challenge and an opportunity. Born with an optical disability that hinders his perception of depth, speed and distance, SaySay.Love’s artistic vision remains pure. It is vibrant, quick and eclectic, and transports his viewers into the very fabric of our being, lending an insight and breakthrough into the very workings of our complex planet. SaySay.Love’s photographic works present a calm and considered observation of nature, expressed through his own personal painterly style as feeling throughout the various images.
     SaySay.Love seeks out the beautiful convolution of nature presenting it in emotive and mesmerising motifs that draw the viewer in – compelled on a journey lured by the visual clues that take you further and further away from your existing reality. This is SaySay.Love’s universe. He unlocks familiar memories and experiences from our subconscious – time spent as a child exploring rock pools, walking with a loved one in a familiar setting, or times when you were inspired by the unlimited beauty and flow in nature. SaySay.Love’s images at once transport you into the depths of the Earth, simultaneously placing you in a distant galaxy.


     The Gift Of Water, captured primarily in Cape Town, is inspired by the life-force that is water. SaySay.Love’s art reshapes our understanding of this gift, and his colourful expressions reflect his understanding of preserving this life-binding agent that fills our rivers and seas. Its ebb and flow – meticulously timed with the phases and movements of the tides – brings new life to our shores. Water is a gift provided by nature for the sustainability and rebirth of life, SaySay.Love hopes his work will inspire this too.
     In his essay A Revival, Cape Town-based artist, writer and curator Lonwabo Kilani explores some of SaySay.Love’s work:
     ‘Anew, armed with an iPhone in hand, paths are cleared and carved. Every swipe and click becomes a new discovery, the effervescence. Cool blues in dotted lines that string together what seems to be life-forming particles. We are told that this is the labyrinth of our life code that gives meaning to our being.


     ‘This new formation, the birth of an artist, is unlike that of the newborn devoid of memories. Instead, new memories are created. It is an afterlife of a journey travelled to its peak. In this life after, this new beginning, one is compelled to ask what SaySay is searching for? What is this that stared at him in his Mystery Road, refreshing his soul and revitalising his senses leading to his ponder, what are you?
     ‘We see love, the explicit expression in his pseudonym. “Pseudonym”, the implication that one is using, according to the Oxford dictionary, a “fictitious name, especially one assumed by an author.” Meaning, the old name is not discarded to make way for the new, therefore, this neither signals a new beginning nor a discard of the old. It seems, love, the addition, not to the old, but an other within.
     ‘Comic characters tend to possess such qualities where one discovers, at a certain point in their lives, extraordinary powers that exceed those of mere mortals. Hidden within, such discoveries cannot be shared with the general public that will, as the norm presupposes, turn one into a freak show. Their overreaching superpowers become the source of social inadequacy that renders them incapable social beings. Only with time, when one has assumed the carriage as the self other, the pseudo, does he feel compelled to reach out and express these powers. The expression itself is meant to be an affection for others, the broader community, his Radiance 1. Such affection tends to come with baggage from the other that is the real. Since the powers are beyond human reach, the function of the baggage is meant to humanise and tone down the power to get the audience to feel for and be affectionate towards the superhero, our Radiance 2
     ‘Self directed, one reads The Gift Of Water as that which quenches the being. Here, art seems to be the love, the quench, the temporality that must be constantly revived. It revives. It is the resource, the code giving meaning to the being. The aesthetic is self directed. A reinvention.’
     Upcoming exhibition at The Melrose Gallery in Johannesburg on 22 February 2018. Thereafter the exhibition travels to New York and London.
     Please visit our website for more information at or on Facebook or photography or on Instagram will be at Investec Cape Town Art Fair from 16-18 Feb 2018. Find SaySay.Love at AVA Gallery at Investec Cape Town Art Fair at the F5 stand.

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