Roel Roelofsen is South Africa’s forgotten master of colour slides. His slides were widely celebrated throughout the world during the early 1970s and yet, his achievements and works are unknown and uncelebrated by South African art history.
Roel’s derivation technique involved copying the negatives of black and white photographs onto high-contrast line film, resulting in an image with black and white areas only. A number of black and white images could then be superimposed on one another and arranged to form a montage. In order to apply colour to the negative, a technique called etch-bleaching is necessary in order to remove the emulsion from the desired area and allow the colour to be hand-painted onto the exposed area and adhere to the negative. This process was repeated in a number of colours - each colour on a new negative - so that the ultimate picture was the result of a montage of several layers of film.
Although he was awarded countless medals Internationally for his work, Roel's slides had never actually been printed until they were rediscovered in 2014 and brought to a South African audience. A truly unique story accompanies this work in an exhibition not to be missed.