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Saturday, December 31, 2011


(Pic taken by Matthew Willman)

Motivated by humanitarian icons around the world, visual communication photographer Matthew Willman has used the power of the visual medium since 2001 to actively promote awareness of human rights issues, promote the creative arts and advocate for the preservation of South Africa’s National Heritage sites.

Through his work in the field of documentary and commercial photography, Willman has the privilege of serving as photographer to some of the world’s foremost charitable organisations, and leaders in their respective fields. He has committed his focus as a photographer to creating a voice for people affected and infected with HIV & Aids through notable global NGO’s active in Southern Africa, Europe and Australia.

“Photography is a passport. I use it to tell the stories of others, who they are and what they have shaped themselves to be,” commented Willman.

Willman has always been intrigued by people – who they are and what they shape themselves to be - and, none more so than the great man, Nelson Mandela. Over the past seven years, Willman has worked as a commissioned photographer to the Nelson Mandela Foundation and has been afforded many personal experiences with a man who is loved the world over and who has inspired him to adopt the attitude to “keep paying it forward”!

To this end, he has founded the Matthew Willman Visual Arts Foundation. A registered Section 21 organisation, it aims to further the development of individuals and communities through programmes and projects that inspire change and progression through the impact and promotion of the visual arts.

Committed to making a difference to individuals and communities, the Foundation will inspire individual change while helping to uplift the communities in which they are active. Its objectives are threefold. to inspire change through the visual arts; nurture artistic talent, and uplift communities through the visual arts.

“For years, I’ve written down the incredible experiences I’ve shared, scribbled them on loose pieces of paper and filed them away. I had always hoped that together with the images, they would one day take the form of a book, not quite a novel or a documentary but a collection of images that tell the story of life’s little experiences,” elaborated Willman.

With the establishment of the Matthew Willman Visual Arts Foundation, the opportunity arose for him to take a collection of work and use it to ‘keep paying forward’ - not only his personal story but the stories of others through the images.

A total of 500 magnificent limited edition coffee table books overflowing with fascinating stories and evocative images have been printed. All contributions through the sale of this book are going to the Matthew Willman Visual Arts Foundation to keep paying forward using the arts as an opportunity to uplift and educate so that others have a chance to dream!

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