18 Sep 2012
I was sixteen. A very intense time in any teenage girls life. I felt very inspired, suffocated, out of place and slightly neglected due to family issues that had occurred earlier that year. Bottom line was; I was ready to let off some steam and do something spontaneous, creative and intense.
Then came "NO DUMPING".
I had recently moved house and started living with my dad and his room mate at the time. We stayed around the corner from a busy highway and lots of bushveld, and every day on my way back from school I'd see this bright yellow sign sticking out amongst the grass next to the main road. It simply read "NO DUMPING", which, of course, logically meant no one was to dispose of any waste on that particular piece of land. However, in my head it meant something completely different.
I had seen it time and time again, both at school and in my own home at a certain point, the complete disregard and ignorance people had for others in their time of need. How men would use women until they got what they wanted, and then 'dump' them. How when a person has had enough of you, they leave you, especially when you don't have much to offer in return. the word "dump", to leave behind, discard, throw away... to me, it was a very powerful word. So I decided to use it.
I had rounded up a few friends from school, borrowed a Cannon Camera from a friend of my dads, and arranged a day to go out to the sign and take a few pictures of the girls hanging on and around the sign... The idea was to make it look like they had been left there, "dumped". They were all glammed up, waiting to be rescued... but no one ever came... so they stood there waiting by the sign...
It was meant to be whimsical, odd, mismatched, out of place, messy, colourful, vibrant and intense.
It was my first photoshoot I had ever conducted, and in my opinion, considering my age, and the restrictions I had with regards to equipment, knowledge and man power, I think it went extremely well.
The whole idea was based on a drawing I did... and it came out even better than I had ever imagined.
The most ironic part of the entire ordeal, was that during the shoot I was seeing someone, whom (a week later) got rid of me, to find someone else... So I completely understood what I was going for - through personal experience. So I will never forget, "NO DUMPING"