Please reload

Recent Posts

DELICATELY FIRM: WAX COUTURE & BEATING CANCER

October 23, 2017

&Vulnerably strong

 

inhale…

 

Delicately firm

    

exhale…

 

Cold floor. Long passage. White linen. Leather straps.

 

Breathe…

 

One light. Two counts. Three drops. Sleep.

 

Photographer: Jan Ernst de Wet / Model: Elize de Wet
Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Upstairs Theatre

 

 

October is breast cancer awareness month. We dedicate this post to one of the most incredible women I know, my mother, Elize de Wet. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago and had to undergo a double mastectomy. Her recovery, like that of many other survivors, has been filled with a lot of difficult emotions and challenges. Many things that come very naturally to us, takes a lot of energy and motivation, but despite all of this, she is the strongest person I know.

 

Photographer: Annina de Swardt / Model: Elize de Wet
Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Upstairs Theatre

 

 

To do our part for breast cancer awareness, we decided to do an experimental photoshoot. The purpose was twofold. My mom had the opportunity to show other survivors that no matter how big your scars, you can still be beautiful and brave. For us, it was the chance to create an artwork that could represent her journey.

 

Photographer: Jan Ernst de Wet / Model: Elize de Wet
Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Upstairs Theatre

 


The costumes were born from an interest in the various emotions and circumstances a cancer survivor experiences prior, during and post-surgery. Although we can never fully comprehend what it feels like, a lot of the feelings she has endured, I have carried with her. 

 

Photographer: Annina de Swardt / Model: Elize de Wet
Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Upstairs Theatre

 


The two main costumes we created dealt with the same topic but has been conceived from two different mindsets. The first is made from contemporary materials. These fabrics are soft and delicate with very intricate textures and patterns. Contrary to their nature, they have been used in a much more rigid and strong manner. They speak of composure and strength and adopt regal qualities in form and structure.

 

Photographer: Jan Ernst de Wet / Model: Elize de Wet
Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Upstairs Theatre

 


The second is made from wax. This material is very versatile and lends itself to be shaped into the desired form. The wax is very delicate but took on skin-like and feather textures. It was designed to resemble blades [in the mask] which is a direct reference to her surgery. The shoulders took on a different shape over time and began to look like wings. Below the shoulders, red thread was used to frame the torso and in an abstract way represent blood.

 

Photographer: Annina de Swardt / Model: Elize de Wet
Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Upstairs Theatre

 

 

Photographer: Annina de Swardt / Model: Elize de Wet
Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Upstairs Theatre

 

 

In order to enhance the drama and suspense, we made use of chiaroscuro lighting. This allowed us to put emphasis on the detail, create a warm and theatrical mood, and place all the focus on the face and chest.

 

Photographer: Jan Ernst de Wet / Model: Elize de Wet
Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Upstairs Theatre

 

Much like the juxtapositions found in the movie Black Swan, the photos create a tension between the gentle and robust. It communicates feelings of rising from the ashes and looking into the light.

 

Photographer: Annina de Swardt / Model: Elize de Wet
Art director: Jan Ernst de Wet / Annina de Swardt 

Location: Upstairs Theatre

 

A personal note of thank to Vicky Salis, Aldrin Klaase, Dominique Paronitti for assisiting us with the costume design, lighting and being emotionally available during this shoot. 

  
 

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Follow Us