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Publicity pages of professional fashion and advertising photographer, Merwelene van der Merwe, who is based in Johannesburg:
“I’ve never been about just fashion or photography. I love people, and behind the lens I explore the inspiration that is the human spirit. It is not about image or images. It’s about capturing energy, recording an attitude… what you miss in a blink, a look that makes you look twice, or clicking with an idea, and now with technology, more than just being behind the camera, it is like being a part of it – combining thoughts and feelings. More than ever before, it’s holding a few seconds so still, that everyone can experience them.” – Des Brown
Platteland soul and a funky Californian sensibility make Merwelene van der Merwe one of the most sensuous photographers around.
You can’t miss Merwelene van der Merwe in a crowd. Full Length flowing dress. Eyeglasses like a wire sculpture. Hair like some crazy cubist pineapple. Shuffle up close to the distinctive silhouette and more often than not. Ms van der Merwe is beaming from ear to ear. “So many people spend their lives planning or living in the past.” she exclaims in a loud and equally distinctive guttural squeak. “But what could be more important than today?” – Adam Levin
Merwelene van der Merwe…… the meisie from the Free state who took those pictures of Nelson Mandela which appeared on ANC’s election posters and on the latest South African stamp series. Van der Merwe who mixes her English, Afrikaans and Sotho like a genuine nuwe Suid-Afrikaner, studied photography at technical college before working as a fashion photographer in America for eight years. She returned to South Africa two years ago, in time to witness the momentous changes… – Rodney Victor