Ending Tue, 27th Jul 2021 19:40:00

Aspire X PLP | African Photography Auction 2021

Lot 39
Lot 39 - T. J. Lemon (South Africa 1959-)


T. J. Lemon (South Africa 1959-)
Izintombi (from the Homecoming celebrations ('uKhisimus'), esiPongweni series)

ink print on Ilford Gold Fibre Gloss cotton paper

Artwork date: 1992
Signature details: signed and inscribed with the title on the reverse
Edition: number 1 from an edition of 10

Sold for R10,000
Estimated at R15,000 - R20,000

Condition Report

The overall condition is excellent.

Please note, we are not qualified conservators and these reports give our opinion as to the general condition of the works. We advise that bidders view the lots in person to satisfy themselves with the condition of prospective purchases.


ink print on Ilford Gold Fibre Gloss cotton paper

Artwork date: 1992
Signature details: signed and inscribed with the title on the reverse
Edition: number 1 from an edition of 10


image size: 28 x 38 cm; sheet size: 30 x 40 cm unframed

TJ Lemon began his career in photography in the 1980s as a student covering events at the small university town of Makhanda (then Grahamstown) in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Lemon was a lecturer in Photojournalism at Rhodes University from 1988–1989. He had three exhibitions in Makhanda before moving to Johannesburg in 1990, where he was appointed as director and trainer at the newly formed Market Photo Workshop. Lemon was also a contributor to the photographers’ collective Afrapix.

After the 1994 elections, he took a staffer position at Independent Newspapers and became chief photographer of The Sunday Independent. He pursued news and feature work as required but enjoyed the versatility a weekly publication offered. Lemon began writing for his picture features and went on to win a World Press Photo award (2001) for his photo-essay, Oswenka, the Jeppe Hostel Swankers.

In 2010, he left Independent Newspapers to pursue freelance work and longterm photographic projects. Lemon taught in the Journalism department, Wits University, from 2013–2015. He collaborated with Louise Meintjes from Duke University on the book, Dust of the Zulu: Ngoma Aesthetics after Apartheid (2017), and an exhibition in Durham (2018). His exhibition, Comrades, Warriors and Volkstaat Kommandos, was shown at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda (2019).

In this work, Izintombi prepare for the celebrations of a coming-of-age NOTES ritual (umemulo); esiPongweni, Keates Drift, KwaZulu-Natal.


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Auction: Aspire X PLP | African Photography Auction 2021, ending Tue, 27th Jul 2021

The sale, presented in partnership with the Photography Legacy Project (PLP) was the largest collection of African photography ever to come to auction.

Notable inclusions were works by Zimbabwean photographer Tamary Kudita and young award-winning woman photographer, Lee-Ann Olwage who collaborated with Belinda Qaqamba Kafassie. Emerging photographers like Kongo Astronauts collective (DRC) and the documentary imagery of Etinosa Yvonne (Nigeria) added depth and diversity, while the older generation of established practitioners like David Goldblatt, Alf Kumalo and Ernest Cole also featured.

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