How did you get started doing what you do?
I was accidentally placed in an advanced filmmaking course in high school (one that I was initially adamant about getting out of) where I was able to produce some of my first moving image projects. This exposure led me to screening my first short film at the SXSW film festival in Austin- never before had I valued my work as something that could be viewed by others in that type of setting. Realistically, I don’t think I saw a future for myself in the arts before that moment. I’ve since been seeking to discover my interest in all forms of moving image whether it be in my work in cinematography, photo, or mix media.
What’s your inspiration?
I’ve recently been very inspired by the documentary photographers: Richard Mosse (The Enclave) & Alex Van Gelder (Life & Afterlife in Benin). My interest in capturing movement also derives from my exposure to an array of French graphic novels, my favorite graphic novel being Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët.
What is art to you?
Art is the result of experience and perspective converging.
How do you keep motivated?
Music! Preferably Michael McDonald’s “What a Fool Believes.” I believe that song is appropriate motivation for all of life’s great creative moments.
How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
My projects are based largely on my placement the world at the time of development. I’ve lived in Paris, Baltimore, and currently Providence and my interest and method in creating has always come from my reaction to my environment.
“I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.”
― Jorge Luis Borges
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Stop checking the Wikipedia pages of great artist and filmmakers to determine what you should be accomplishing at any given moment. Remember that you didn’t get started by syncing your life to the successes of others.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
“Don’t let circumstance define possibility, let possibly determine circumstance”
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Enter your work into as many showings, exhibitions, and festivals as possible, expose yourself to the perspective of others, allow them to enhance your understanding of your work through their observation.
What are your thoughts on art school?
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I hope to obtain the Fulbright-National Geographic Fellowship to shoot a documentary based on the meaning of my name, which in the South African Xhosa language means “She will do it herself.”
What’s your dream project?
A collaboration between Nick Cave and I, where I film individuals in his sound suits interacting with their environments through dance. It’s been my dream since I stumbled upon one of his interactive sculpture pieces at the BMA in Baltimore to create a short film with them, they’re too unbelievably beautiful not to capture through film.
What’s your process like?
My process is about 20% research, 30% trial and error, 20% production, and 50% post production. I might actually spend 3 hours on set capturing my work and 4-5 months modifying and fine-tuning it.