A photographer, writer, multimedia producer and teacher based in Cape Town, South Africa. A master’s degree in Photojournalism at the University of Montana in the United States introduced her to digital storytelling. Her love of photography crystallised when she saw the ethereal world of wild Namaqualand flowers through a macro lens. She discovered that looking through a lens truly transformed the way she saw things. Since then, Alexia has photographed religious festivals in Mexico, the eccentricities of a small, western Montana town, the campaign trails of U.S. presidential hopefuls, the journey of Vangethongo, a white South African woman into the world of traditional African healing, and the life of Tibetan refugee Buddhist nuns in India. And most recently, she has turned her lens to lichen.
Alexia has run photography workshops for The Stars of Tomorrow Education Trust (Cape Town, S.A.), Summer Arts and Leadership Camp (Montana, U.S.A.) and Cameraland (Cape Town, S.A.). She produced a number of video and photography projects for Uthando, a Non Profit and Fair Trade in Tourism accredited company in Cape Town and worked at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York and the Everard Read Gallery in Cape Town. Her first solo museum exhibition was in 2009 at the Missoula Art Museum in Missoula, Montana. Alexia’s photographs and articles have been published in local and international publications.
Artist Statement: LICHEN
Hiking in nature and photography bring Alexia much joy. Photographing lichens makes her feel especially joyful. Once she started noticing lichens, she realized that they are abundant and can be found in the most unlikely places. Alexia is fascinted by the variety of lichens. Once you start observing them, she says, you will see them everywhere.
Lichens are symbiotic communities of vastly different organisms that have evolved intimately together for billions of years. The fungus provides shelter, water and nutrients. The algae provides energy in the form of sugar from photosynthesis. Just recently, scientists discovered that most lichens have a third organism – a yeast – also living in symbiosis. Many of the 20,000 known species of lichen are miniature self-contained ecosystems.
From a photographer’s point of view, Alexia feels that the biology, colours and textures of lichens express the creative beauty of nature, life and love. Lichens cannot exist independently and flourish where the air is clean. At this critical juncture in the survival of the earth and its resources, Alexia believes it is essential to experience and document as much natural beauty as possible.
The photographs witness and celebrate these minute yet immensely significant and symbolic organisms.