I am proud to showcase my the ‘Vir Ewig’ project. I have teamed up with Melanie Wirz, a social journalist from
Switzerland. We collected 14 portraits and stories of role models from Hanover Park and created a magazine
out of that to hand out to the kids in schools in Hanover Park. We want to inspire them to take their lives into a
Tamlyn Martin: How did you become involved in Art and photography?
EG: I studied media communications in Leiden a small town in the Netherlands. At university I had the opportunity to follow some photography and art courses.
Here completed a documentary photography course and that literally opened my eyes. There my love for photography started. With a camera in my hand, I could step into the world of any subculture and feed my explorations.
I see myself as an artist where I am expressing my love for art by working with mixed media and photography.
TM: Who have been your inspiration and in what way?
EG: Sounds corny but my dad. He stopped working at the age of 55 and started working for different social projects around the world, focusing on improving the medical health sector in countries like Indonesia and Thailand. He showed me that you can use your skills to make a social change.
In terms of photography I like the work of Ed van der Elsken, Sally Man and Julian Germain.
TM: Who has influenced your current approach to Photography and why?
EG: In the Netherlands my mentor Herman Wouterse gave me a lot of good feedback of how you could tell stories in
many different ways. My world of storytelling was widened and now though his teachings I too can share so many
more stories taught to me.
TM: Tell us about the special people who have mentored you along the way. Who is your
favourite international photographer at the moment and what truly excites you about their
EG: To be honest I do not look so much at others peoples work. That said, I do like the Instagram account of Armand Hough. He is amazing when it comes to photo journalism. I enjoy the work of Joost Batsmeijer – his outlook on the world is radical. When it comes to more arty photography I love the work of Prince Gyasi and Sanja Marusic.
TM: Are there ways that you are re -inventing, innovating, prototyping your projects?
Whether in use of materials, print design, branding, repurposing or up- purposing recycled
EG: During the lockdown I started my own art account called. A Girl Called Effie Art. This kind of photography was very different from my normal work as a documentary photographer.
When I do printing I always look at the different papers and structures. On my list of 2022 I want to create my own studio where I want to mix photography with paint. So I keep on improving myself – it is an ongoing process.
TM: Have you collaborated with other artists, performers, musicals?
EG: Yes, I worked with multiple musicians from all over the world. Like DJ InviZable and Cheslin Pick from South Africa. But also with artists from Beirut, which is in Lebanon. I photographed and interviewed them in 2021. The story got published by Vice and was about how the massive explosion effected their musical career.
TM: Have you created your own independent artwork for exhibition tell us about the
EG: I did multiple exhibitions in Amsterdam and Cape Town. My last exhibition was about the Hanover Park project on the 6th of 2022. We were showing the portraits and selling the magazine. For each magazine purchased by a visitor a magazine will go to a child in Hanover Park.
The exhibition was a great success and i even received reactions from overseas.
TM: Do you feel your range, label, product coveys a message? What ideological thread do
you feel you are exploring weather political, environmental, around identity and cultural
hybridity, sustainability, skills development etc? How do you feel you are capturing “ what
it is to be of this time and space”?
EG: The message of the Hanover Park Vir Ewig project is that the portraits and stories of community members showcases their pride, dignity, and self respect while being contributing members of society, regardless of their background and circumstances. This the part that inspires the overall message.
TM: Do you have any favourite South African artists and designers? What are your favourite
places or spaces to visit in Cape Town?
EG: My favorite designer are Made in Africa Label. They create with and support upcoming artists. Besides that they have a store, studio and music studio.
I love to have a boogie in the restaurant called Jordan on a Sunday together with my friend Anele who is a fashion designer under the name genius platform in Langa.
Good food and cocktails can be found at Gorgeous George when dj Cheslin Pick is playing or at Clarke’s when you are keen for a mimosa during the day.