Goodman Gallery Cape Town is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Jabulani Dhlamini. In 2011 Dhlamini was awarded the annual Edward Ruiz mentorship, which helps promising young photographers develop a substantial body of work under the mentorship of a professional photographer. Under the guidance of Jodi Bieber, Dhlamini’s project culminated in the exhibition of uMama at the Market Photo Workshop Gallery, now seen in Cape Town for the first time.
In uMama, Dhlamini pays tribute to mothers, and explores the particular challenges faced by women raising children on their own in South African townships. In intimate portraits of these single mothers and their homes, Dhlamini raises a range of questions about the roles women are expected to play, and how the act mothering is framed and perceived in contemporary South African society. And in portraits of young men raised by single mothers, the artist self-reflexively considers what it means to become a man in a house without a father.
Jabulani Dhlamini was born in Warden, Free State in 1983. He received a National Diploma in Photography from the Vaal University of Technology in 2009. He is the recipient of numerous awards in photography, including 2 Profoto Awards in 2008 and 2009, a Fujifilm Southern Africa Photographic Award in 2009 and the Edward Ruiz Mentorship for 2011-2012. He held his first solo exhibition in 2012 at the Market Photo Workshop Gallery. He lives and works in Johannesburg.
Jabulani Dhlamini (b. 1983, Free State, South Africa) lives and works in Johannesburg. Dhlamini majored in documentary photography at the Vaal University of Technology, graduating in 2010. He is an alumni fellow of the Edward Ruiz Mentorship programme and the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg. His work focuses on his upbringing while also reflecting on various communities within contemporary South Africa. Dhlamini’s approach is meditative and subtly provokes a closer look at what lies on the edges through an exploration of personal and collective memory. Incorporating landscape imagery and intimate portraits, his work captures historical moments — such as the recollection of the Sharpeville Massacre, the effects of land dispossession and the funeral of anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela — while also documenting the quieter moments in the lives of everyday South Africans.
Dhlamini’s Umama series was exhibited as part of his Edward Ruiz award at the Market Photo Workshop in 2012, and at Goodman Gallery Cape Town in 2013 – his first solo exhibition with the gallery. In Umama, Dhlamini pays homage to single mothers and explores the challenges faced by women raising children on their own in South African townships. For his Recaptured series, which was exhibited at Goodman Gallery in 2016, Dhlamini turned to the community of Sharpeville, asking people to bring objects that reminded them of the 1960 massacre. Over the course of several years, Dhlamini interviewed and photographed a number of individuals who traced their movements and emotions on the day of the Sharpeville Massacre, relocating themselves within the collective memory.
In 2018 Dhlamini’s work was featured on the Five Photographers, A Tribute to David Goldblatt group exhibition at the Gerard Sekoto Gallery at the French Institute. In his 2018 exhibition at Goodman Gallery, iXesha!, Dhlamini explored how memory is created and archived within a community where the memory has been localised. This exhibition included images from Dhlamini’s recent series iQhawekazi documenting the events around Winnie Mandela’s funeral.
In his most recent exhibition with the Gallery, the everyday waiting, Dhlamini photographed his community in Soweto during the first four months of the national lockdown, drawing attention to the psychological impact of COVID-19.