'Between Us' Bronwin & Morgan
During the height of the Covid-19 epidemic Oath commissioned x20 South African photographers to respond to one of the harshest by- products of the virus, the weaponization of touch.
Each photographer was supplied with the exact same Oath brief. We selected x 2 images each for the project called ‘Try A Little Tenderness’. The dynamic, varied, and creative results from the respective photographers is an exquisite showcase of the powerful voices in South Africa. All displaying resilience, innovation, integrity and most of all a commitment to love, understanding and compassion.
The TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS project is still under wraps, but we will be presenting the project in full in our print publication Oath Volume 2 with all of our commissioned works. The theme of our next issue is dedicated to LOVE.
Oath is working in collaboration with galleries, curators, and small businesses in Johannesburg and Cape Town to take this project from the printed page and into the public space for a twin open-air exhibition of works in both cities in South Africa. Stay tuned for news about the exhibition, and our release date for our love song to contemporary African photography that is volume 2. Follow us on Instagram @oathmag for updates.
Showcased here online is a sneak-peek of the expanded series by one of the contributors, Cape Town-based photographer Sven Christianson. He speaks with Oath about his inspiration for the brief and why he found the love between his subjects so attractive to document.
When Mikhailia Petersen, the stylist on our shoot, and I first heard the story of the Bronwin and Morgan Rhoda here in Cape Town, we realised that this is a reality for so many other couples, one that many around the world could relate to but never have anticipated. We approached them for Oath’s Try A little Tenderness photo project to document their journey, and share their story of love and strength as a family.
Despite the global pandemic, the Rhoda family’s positive nature shone through, in the face of all the challenges that came their way. I wanted to create a series of portraits that were vulnerable and intimate yet empowering. All the love they would have shared outwardly with the world during two of the most pivotal events in life, marriage and the birth of their first child, was turned inward into their home. When Covid Hit, the couple was forced to change plans. A wedding was adjusted and there was no stopping the birth of their baby boy Alec for a more salubrious time. Bronwin shares that despite the hardships of Covid and the extreme lockdown in South Africa, the experience has ultimately unified them as a unit, making them both hyper aware of what truly matters in life, love and each other.
After everything we experienced as a couple over the last few months it made us so much stronger. Our relationship became tighter than it was and we proved to ourselves that we can handle any challenge. Now, our only wish is that our family remains healthy and happy. Our experiences humbled us. We went through a bad storm, where everything was turned upside down. Now we are the storm, and nothing can stand in our way.