We recently visited the cold and wintery South Africa where I decided to do a shoot based on a local urban legend. The legend is that of the ghost of Sammy (Samual) Marks who has been haunting his home (also known as Zwartkoppies Farm, built in the 1880s) and historical site in Pretoria, since his death in 1920. The story I am developing is about Samual Mark’s middle daughter Dolly, who now also haunts the forest area outside the house in search of her family name. Sammy and his wife Bertha had nine children of which only six survived. The sad thing is that the legend and legacy of Sammy Mark died in 1981, with the death of his last grandchild. Of all Sammy and Bertha’s grandchildren only girls were born, so the family name died when the last grandchild passed away. In my story I am exploring the idea of losing a legacy and what it means to have a family name, what does it tie to? I am interested in ideas such as why a name matters and does blood tie you to family? With the images I wanted to capture the spirit of Dolly Marks – a rich Victorian lady who was not allowed to marry a ‘foreigner’ and who was ordered to return home to their family farm. In my story she rebels against her religious father by practising alternative spiritual rituals and vows to never marry. Her spirit still remains.
I am also super blessed and honoured this month to be featured on Gulf Photo Plus’s website as “member in focus” for the month of July.
Thank you for reading