Cropped illustration by Rayaan Cassiem.
Participating Graflit: Urban Interiors artist Rayaan Cassiem is a Cape Town local born and raised in the Cape Flats from a suburb more formally known as Heideveld. Rayaan's artistic inspiration stems from various disciplines including comic books, animation, video games and graffiti, his work appearing in a number of exhibitions including his first solo exhibition, INTRINSIC, at the Black Box gallery in August, 2013. Rayaan is no stranger to the CCIBA with his work appearing alongside local and international artists as part of a group mixed-media exhibition entitled Co-Mix, at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in 2011. He later exhibited works at the Youngblood Gallery in Cape Town for the inaugural launch of Graflit: Graveyard Literature in Black & White in September, 2013.
Illustration by Rayaan Cassiem
Rayaan explained his proposal to the CCIBA and had a conceptually unique and somewhat altruistic approach to his visual narrative and exhibited works:
I wish to address the issue of Cape Town's reputation as the Mother City and how this conflicts with the treatment of its homeless citizens. My aim is to give a face and a voice to the less fortunate by doing a series of portraits for the show and adding a name and identity to the people we often pass by on the streets without a second thought as too who they are or what their story is. I aim to donate the proceeds of the possible sale of all the portraits to The Haven Night Shelter organisation (http://www.haven.org.za/). I will venture out to meet, greet and photograph some of the occupants of the Haven night shelter and those citizens unfortunate to call the street their home in order to hear their stories as part of my reference and research gathering for this project.