Ané Strydom was born in 1990 in Worcester, South Africa. Before picking up a camera, she obtained a diploma in fashion design from Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design in 2011, and then went on to start a career as a fashion stylist in Cape Town.
She took up photography by chance after buying an old Minolta analog camera on holiday, and fell in love with the medium. She works on a variety of commissioned and personal projects, including portraiture, fashion, landscape, street and documentary. Her background in styling has certainly had an influence on what she chooses to photograph.
In 2017, she was an artist in residence at WAAW Senegal in Saint-Louis, where she started her ongoing project, ‘Of Cloth’; one that she continued working on during her recent residency at Kooshk in Tehran.
During my time at Kooshk Residency, I continued work on an ongoing project entitled ‘Of Cloth’, a project which I first started during my previous residency in Senegal in 2017.
The work focuses on various encounters with fabric; the floral chadors worn by women in Tajrish, dust covers protecting cars all over the city, a sheet wrapped around fresh bread. Seemingly ordinary moments, yet of startling grace.
I am currently working on putting together a book using the photographs made during my time spent in Iran, which will be published in 2020 in collaboration with Candice Ježek, a riso printer and bookbinder based in Cape Town.
Interview with Ané Strydom
- Would you please tell us about yourself?
Hello! My name is Ané Strydom and I was born in 1990 in Worcester, South Africa. I now live and work in Cape Town. After high school, I studied fashion design and then went on to work as a fashion stylist for magazines, campaigns & tv commercials. A couple of years later, I picked up photography.
- Please briefly explain your works and tell us in what art medium do you work in?
I work with the medium of photography. My work spans a variety of genres, including portraiture, documentary, street, nature and sometimes fashion.
- What is your project here in Tehran? How did you develop it and what materials you have been using?
My project in Iran is a continuation of a project I started during my previous residency, called Of Cloth. In this project, I focus on documenting instances of fabric that might seem normal to somebody who often sees it being used in this manner, but to me it seems otherworldly and magical. Due to never being certain what I might find, the project always develops as I discover a new place. In Tehran I became fascinated with the dust covers on cars and with chadors, especially the floral ones at Imamzadeh Saleh in Tajrish. For this project, I used medium format photography.
- What was your experience in other residencies? Do you think art residencies have any influence on artist’s career?
I have been to one prior art residency, namely WAAW Residency in Saint-Louis, Senegal. My experience there was so valuable and it was what first inspired my project Of Cloth, which I would love to continue in a variety of locations all over the world. Art residencies are such a wonderful opportunity to develop new work and ways of thinking, to learn from the local people, and to feel inspired to carry on with your work, even after returning back home. It also allows to meet new people and make new connections (and friends!) from all over the world.
- What was your experience with Kooshk and what do you think about it?
My experience at Kooshk was beyond what I can put into words. I had one of the best months of my life discovering this chaotic city and learning about Iran and its people (and also about myself). The staff (wow, sounds so formal) of Kooshk were really helpful since before I arrived, and were always willing to go above and beyond what I would ever have expected. I am so grateful I got to spend this time in Tehran, and hope to return soon.