The image series by Cole Ndelu displays her beliefs towards breaking the stereotypical associations of femininity and blackness. The intention of the work is to disturb the norm and portray the models, which are both male and female, as beautiful, resilient, and powerful.
According to the photographer, every model which she has photographed had to step out of their comfort zones and cast their fears and apprehensions. As Cole Ndelu is unapologetic in her femininity, she incorporated flowers into her portrait-style photographs in order to construct a soft and vulnerable dimension. The incorporation of flowers has allowed for the imagery of vibrant textures and levels – empowering the reflective aesthetic.
Cole’s photography is aimed at depicting the stereotypical viewpoints which surround South Africa and breaking them through incorporating people of color and of both genders.
My series is aligned with what I consider to be the purpose of my work as an artist – which is to create work that celebrates and honours the marginalised.Cole Ndelu
The South-Africa-based photographer Cole Ndelu defines herself as a “visual communicator”, reflecting the importance of being unapologetically feminine and black. Passionate about depicting the imagery which she wanted to see when growing up, Cole places a great focus on challenging the idea of Africa and the stereotypes surrounding mainstream media.