‘Rerouted’ is a photographic portrait series by South African artist Justin Dingwall in collaboration with fashion designer Roman Handt.
This art series is a commentary on how our lives drastically changed during the last two years. It focuses on travel, a predominant part of our everyday, and how restrictions on our movement and freedom affects every aspect of our lives. Without it, we experience separation, loneliness, loss, retrogression.
Voyaging is largely how society progresses, as humans explore, learn, and find new pathways and livelihoods. We cannot move forward without travel.
By foregrounding representations of movement – in the imagery of bicycles, motorbikes and planes adorning each model’s head, this series directly investigates feelings about freedom and independence. Plastic checked shopping bags have been reshaped into clothing, a discernible feature largely associated with migration and relocation. These upcycled objects make us rethink how our lives have involuntarily changed.
Fashion is also central to the series as it evokes ideas of self-identity and exploration. There is representation of a physical journey at play here, but also an inner journey of the self. In Ghana, these bags came to be known as ‘Efiewura Suame’ – “help me carry this load”. This speaks to our rerouted journey, which is not only deeply personal, but universal.
This is where we find ourselves, we are in the moment of being rerouted.
We face a choice for a different path, a new course, an unfamiliar way to get to our destination.
We had plans, our journeys mapped out, until we were unexpectedly forced to change direction.