national Arts Festival Banner

Thursday, July 30, 2020


(Samora Chapman)

During this lockdown, the KZNSA Gallery in Durban introduces artists it has worked and collaborated with, in its new series: Meet the Artist. Have some fun with them, collect their art, and watch their Q&A videos on the Instagram and Facebook pages.

One of the featured artists is photographer Samora Chapman. He has been actively documenting the lives of Durban's homeless during the lockdown and COVID19 pandemic, in connection with the work of the Denis Hurley Centre. Watch his Meet the Artist Q&A on our Instagram or Facebook.

Chapman is a creative director with skills in writing, photography and filmmaking. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Politics and developed skills in photography under the mentorship of award-winning documentary photographer Paul Weinberg.

Chapman has exhibited at various venues including the KZNSA, including his first film, Footnotes in the City, an investigation of street art as visual activism in Durban.

His interests range from street culture to fine art, fashion, rural development and the environment. His specialty is getting under the skin of the city he lives in, finding the beauty and the humanity between the hard urban edges, with an artist’s eye.

Follow the Q & A:

How do you know the KZNSA?

 Pretty much everyone in the Durban art scene knows the KZNSA. It’s always been a central and integral part of the art scene. It’s a very accessible gallery, you can walk in at any time and feel at home there. They support a range of artists, there’s up and coming work, there’s established work, and they let graffiti writers paint the outside walls. Everything they’ve done has really been positive, and they don't seem like a very capitalist driven place, they’re more about the art and artists.

Your current art crushes

At the moment I’ve been looking at a lot of Bruce Gilden’s work. He’s a New York street photographer. He uses a bright, ugly flash and he’s very antagonistic, fearless and controversial but I do enjoy his work. I enjoy a lot of his non-flash work as well.

Steve McCurry is a documentary photographer who I’ve always just really admired and wanted to work with him, or meet him or something.

Locally, I would say there are a lot of great South African photographers, but a good friend of mine is Matt Kay, and I really admire his work, I seek his guidance indirectly by following what he is doing.

A little known fact about you

I spend all of my time shooting rugged, raw, urban environments, and I guess a little known fact is I’m actually quite a nature child. I love being in nature and the sea, and away from the madness of the city to balance things out.

Three albums you would never burn

It’s a hard question because listening to Spotify, where I just listen to singles a lot of the time. I’d have to say, Midnight Marauders - A Tribe Called Quest, Cypress Hill - Black Sunday and Radiohead - In Rainbows (double album, so I’m cheating).

What is the best part about being an artist?

For me, as a photographer, I guess I just really love and enjoy the process of creation. And I have to do it as much as possible, otherwise I just feel like I’m going mad. The best part for me is going out and spending time in the world, working and meeting strange people and interesting people. And getting photographs and stories, and then producing the work and putting it back out into the world and seeing what the response is or how it may be received, or what does it mean in retrospect.

For more information visit

The KZNSA Gallery is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood in Durban and can be contacted on 031 277 1705 or email: