British photographer, Christopher Rimmer journeyed to one of the remotest corners of South Western Africa and spent three years documenting the last semi nomadic tribes who dwell along the Kunene River which forms the northern border between Namibia and Angola.
Unveiled to considerable acclaim at Art Expo in New York last month, Rimmer’s latest body of work, Confluence – Tradition & Modernity & the Last Tribes of the Kunene River, features stunning, large scale portraits of the people who call this arid Eden home.
The talented photographer’s portraits include the colourful Macubel tribe of Southern Angola, who dress in a brightly coloured waxed fabric known as ‘shwe shwe’ which describes the sound it makes as it rubs together when worn; the regal Ovahimba people who smear their bodies with a mixture of butterfat and ochre, giving their skin a bright orange hue and certainly not least, the fascinating Herero women who still dress in layers of 19th Cen style petticoats and shawls after being Christianised by Renish missionaries during the latter part of the 19th Cen.
Other tribes featured include the Mwila, Ovakahoona and Ovazimba, all who have their own language, customs, dress and spiritual beliefs.
Rimmer travelled over 40 thousand kilometres by road from Cape Town, South Africa to complete six shooting sessions for the project and used a scrim backdrop as a device to enhance the form and expression of each image whilst still retaining a sense of place.
The area where Confluence was made holds many rare and sought after mineral resources and is currently undergoing a rapid transformation due to the extraordinary amount of foreign investment flowing into the local economy. Rimmer is convinced that the people who feature in his latest body of work will no longer exist in any genuine cultural context within twenty years and this, he believes, made his documentation of the last tribes of this area all the more important.
Confluence – Tradition & Modernity & the Last Tribes of the Kunene River is currently showing at the Angela Tandori Fine Art Gallery in Melbourne Australia and will relocate to other galleries in the European Union and Canada over the next twelve months with dates and locations and venues to be announced in due course.
More info: christopherrimmer.com
Ovazimba Woman & Baby, Namibia, 2016
Herero Woman, Namibia 2016
Boys, Namibia, 2015
Young Ovahimba Man, Namibia, 2016.
Ovahimba Girl in the Landscape, Southern Angola, 2016.
Dawn Near Swartbooisdrift, Namibia, 2016.
Ovahimba Cattle Herder, Namibia, 2016
Ovazimba Maiden, Namibia, 2018 Ovazimba Maiden, Namibia, 2018
Ovahimba Headman, Namibia, 2016
Macubal Woman, Southern Angola, 2018
Ovakahona Mother & Baby, Southern Angola, 2016.
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