Wo.Mansion – Women of the World

Womansion -  snail shell with woman's feet peering out
Shelter in place
Image by: Sam Breach

Towards the end of 2020, I was part of a collective of 13 international female photographers, whose work was curated into a unique interactive online gallery showcasing our individual interpretations of our experiences during Covid-19. We named the gallery Wo.Mansion

Portugal based photographer, Anna Gunn led the project, and USA real estate photographer, Katherine Gooding, created the 360° virtual gallery.  

Each photographer was given six squares, which would ultimately make up a cube (or a room, as we called it) to showcase our work.  The outcome was a gallery of unique visual stories. Here are some examples. Alex, amidst packing for a home relocation, suddenly became her son’s teacher, and her images show her and her son working while surrounded by boxes. Rainie encases herself in a plastic bag to depict how she and her husband isolated from one another in their home after he contracted Covid19.  Katherine’s story was of being diagnosed with an unruptured brain aneurysm in February 2020, and because of lockdown, having to wait four months before she could finally have her surgery.  As she sits on a hospital gurney in the middle of a forest, her room shows the contradiction of where she spent most of her time in 2020 versus where she would rather be. Sam Breach, who is a social introvert, reveals how she and her art flourished during lockdown and she has two rooms filled with art that she created during her 88 days of never leaving her home. Sophie’s contribution displays her humorous approach to her life on the sofa, and  Carmen lost the need to self-groom.  Anna’s well-executed conceptual room reflects how she saw the world as very clinical. 

Images from some of the rooms in the Wo.Mansion

A room of wine

My room was inspired by the five month alcohol ban that was enforced in South Africa, during that first lockdown. As restaurant owners, we were hit hard by the combination of lockdown and the alcohol ban. My initial intention was thus to create dark and gloomy images to depict the stress and uncertainty we experienced during that period.

After going through a few ideas though,  I changed direction to focus on the positives that lockdown had brought to our lives. Apart from the precious family time we enjoyed, my daughter’s endless baking, and gourmet meals made by my son, a huge advantage was that as restaurant owners we had wine. And plenty of it!

So while almost everyone else turned to home brewing to make cloudy batches of homemade pineapple beer, or raided their drink cabinets for dregs of alcohol way past its sell-by date, we had access to more wine than we could consume. Getting the wine from the restaurant to our home, a route that took us past the police station, became something of an undercover operation with a grubby rucksack casually thrown over the backseat of the car. 

So this is me indulging in wine during lockdown. 

upside down woman pouring wine
The six squares that make up the cube for my room.
Image by: Carla McMahon

Take a tour of the Wo.Mansion, and be sure to click on the info button at the bottom left of each screen to read each artist’s story and the inspiration behind her images. 

The wine that I used in my images is made by one of my clients, business woman and entrepreneur, Koni Maliehe.

Article edited by Andrea Abbott

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.

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6 Responses

  1. Fascinating Carla. Fully fascinating. And to be included in that small group of international photographers for Wo.Mansion is an achievement to be admired and of which you should be proud. I will make time to visit every room and read every story. Well done Carla. Well Done!

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