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STILL/LIFE IN MOTION a portrait of time passing

The exhibition comprises a selection of images from the book, STILL/LIFE IN MOTION and interrogates the effects of time/ageing on body and mind, similar to the erosive processes in nature. Divided into clusters, each governed by a particular emotion, the images allude to our contradictory attitudes towards natural forces in both our physical environment and our bodies. We mostly experience the former with awe; the latter with fear and displeasure.


Fourteen professionals, including doctors and professors, actors, musicians, ballet dancers, teachers and visual artists agreed to perform in front of a camera. They collaborated in a project which stretched over a period of nearly three years. The initial aim, to explore different professions through the prism of ‘moving bodies’, grew into an expression of emotions associated with the process of coming to grips with ageing. STILL/LIFE IN MOTION finally metamorphosed into and exploration of the paradoxes of growing old and living young.


The craft of fine art photography is also highlighted by similar works presented as prints on different surfaces and produced through different techniques. There is for instance a marked difference in our experience of an art work, caused by the effect of different printing, mounting and framing methods. Printed as giclee (digital ink jet) or chemical light jet prints on varied surfaces like different types of archival paper, silk or metal, affect not only production costs but, more importantly, our emotional response to the final product.


                            STILL/LIFE IN MOTION a portrait of time passing by Bettie Coetzee Lambrecht


The photographs included in this exhibition are testimony to the words of distinguished photographer, Ansel Adams who said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it”. 


This exhibition comprises a fine selection of images from Bettie’s book, STILL/LIFE IN MOTION. It is an exploration of growing older youthfully. 


The images allude to our contradictory attitudes towards the natural forces of ageing – those in our physical environment and those of our physical bodies. We often experience the former with awe (see Protea), but the latter with discontent and fear.


Bettie’s conceptual approach to subject matter and unusual camera techniques merge the juxtaposed. Older people dancing, having fun are photographed with slow shutter speed and different types of lighting. The result is extraordinary abstract & expressionist. See for example, “Twilight se voet, Dance with my Shadow, Glove, Devils foot, Touch, Passion!


Well-known photographer, Alfred Stieglitz said that, “In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality”.

Bettie, in this subtle manner you have captured images that reflect the joy, spontaneity, as well as the dignity and acceptance of growing older.


I emphasize your message to your daughter, Liezl, and I quote from your book, “May she and all of her generation joyfully embrace each stage of growing older and cherish the wisdom it brings.” 



Posted by bettie coetzee-Lambrecht on 9/7 | tags: figurative surrealism photography


Im exploring the Selfportriat as vehicle for entering the unconscious so as to find the Images/themes, that drive the unconscious. Of particular importance to me since recently falling the victim to a robbery which left me unconscious on a street in South Africa.  See my blogpost at:

To my delight, one of my expirements, made a week after the assault, while "living the incident through dance" as advised by Dr Dawn Garisch's insightful book, Eloquent Body, was selected by the Artslant Showcase Team July 2012, as a Winner. Was the assault one of the Difficult Gifts, Dr Garisch refers to in one of her poems called Difficult Gifts?

Posted by bettie coetzee-Lambrecht on 7/16/12

Urban Issues

Interacting with city surfaces through reflections and/or through ruffling smooth appearances to see what lies below the obvious is an ongoing interest. 

My 'interaction' consist of  'scrambling', so to speak,  the confident lines of bricks, or street signs, or by interfering with the colours and textures of fragments from public wall paintings and graffiti.  Buildings reflected in pavement puddles therefore get entangled with inconsistent and erratic curves of organic matter like trees.  Plant and mortar exist in harmony, ironically through the distortions caused by water. Water, moved by wind acts as the ultimate shaper. The paradox of  creation and destruction by natural forces (erosion) and human interaction (abandonment of buildings once built, then left unattended) intrigues me. So does the inventive re-usage of public sites and the combination of industrial conveniences like electrical lines, telephone poles with buildings from a pre-industrial period.

I often reflect upn how reflected images succeed in breaking through the surety of rectangular shapes, and at once reveal the more imaginary aspect of being in a city. In the everyday view of things city dwellers walk over hard city surfaces, hurriedly from one office to another in the business heart of a city. In Cape Town where I live, for instance buildings associated with heartless greedyness, like  banks and insurance-, finance-, and huge oil company-buildings become the source for poetic meditation. 
The humble pavement puddle after rain, exert its power to disturb this proud strutting of control and material self assuredness. In the cracks of textured bricks, and the depth of the sky sinking deep under one's feet the camera lens allow me to dive into and float in a deep sea of imagination.
This is what the series, Deconstructing the City-series Number 1-4 deals with. #4 Has received the honour of being an Artslant Showcase Winner. Thank you, Team!
Posted by bettie coetzee-Lambrecht on 12/13/11 | tags: REFLECTION urban BRICKS trees street art graffiti industrial digital abstract surrealism landscape photography irony conceptual paradoxes architecture decay pre-industrial graffiti/street-art

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