“The reality we perceive exists in multiple layers.”
Zarah Cassim was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. She graduated from the UCT Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2014. She works within the mediums of photography and painting. Apart from her Fine Art studies, Zarah has been part of the Kids Clay initiative and has taught ceramics at leading schools in Cape Town. She has worked for the Elle Decoration SA magazine and has written online articles for them. She also owns a successful South African ladies clothing label, Lazuli. Her role in the company Lazuli has been that of art director, stylist, photographer and designer. In 2013 she was named a finalist in the Sasol New Signature Artists competition. In 2015 she was named a finalist in the Barclays Absa l’atelier competition.
Zarah Cassim’s art production challenges the surety we assume in our perception of images. She recognizes that daily realities are consistently shaped by the exploration of self within contemporary urban environments.
Her photography is inspired by experiences of modernist architecture. At first glance the images seem real in the immediate way we perceive photography. Closer inspection reveals the collaged lines and seams of digital manipulation which foregrounds the constructed nature of photographic vision itself.
Her paintings evolve from more personal experiences of everyday living. Sensitive or romantic memories are woven into her process of dissolving or removing painted layers in a surface interplay with the shadows of previously painted images. Colour palettes are chosen according to mood, with a preference shown for the more mysterious dark inky blues, greens, blacks and burnt sienna. Because her work privileges the encounter with notions of perception, she seeks to evoke a space of sensitivity and reflection for the viewer: the longing of a place just beyond reach or the mute encounter with a blurred horizon.
Selected Projects & Exhibitions: 2016 – Paris Art Fair, That Art Fair Cape Town, Aeipathy Exhibition at Equus Gallery, Absa Gallery 2016 – Aeipathy: group show at Equus Gallery, That Art Fair: Cape Town, The Spaces Between the Maps: KKNK ABSA Gallery, Optical Diversion: group show at Eclectica Art, 30 under 30: group show at Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, The Grand III: group show at Rust-en-Vrede Gallery. 2015 – Solo show at That Art Fair, Paint It Black: group show at Salon91, These Spaces/ These Places: solo exhibition at 99 Loop Gallery, Turbine Art Fair: Blackout Group show with Salon91, 1.99: group show at 99 Loop Gallery, Lazuli at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week CT. 2014 – Michaelis Graduate Exhibition. 2013 – Sasol New Signatures Finalist.