With a photographic exhibition presenting images that illuminate human consciousness, Paavo Shooya opened his first public display of work earlier this week at La Bonne Table restaurant in the Franco Namibia Cultural Centre. Named Oracular, the exhibition remains on display until 31 March 2016. In this photographic exhibition Paavo brings a large array of his captured images, using graphic design skills to fine arts, to complement the raw material. In an interview with the Economist, the photographer explained that the title of his exhibition ‘Oracular’ is derived from the word oracle which alludes to an answer or decision given by an oracle which Paavo in turn expresses through a blend of confusion, illusion and imagination.
At first glance Paavo’s photography has a strong impact on the viewer as it is created in accordance with his vision to re-illustrate the objectivity of reality, transcending the conventional limitations when a photographer captures a specific subject. Furthermore the use of digital enhancement processed the images into different shades of contrasts and shadows which, adding an element of eeriness to the whole exhibition. Interpreting the different pieces at the exhibition, Paavo said his work strives to question the norms of society. Underscoring his point, he points out an image he captured of two adult males embracing each other.
“When two toddler boys hold hands or embrace each other, society deems it normal, however when two adult men embrace each other, we frown upon it and say its homosexuality” he stated. With regard to his background in photography Paavo explained that he did not study photography formally but only read substantially on the subject and practised without end which finally culminated in his first photographic exhibition. The photographer states that his work is open to interpretation and does not lean towards any preconceived themes except to evoke different emotions and curiosities. The exhibition consists of many fine pieces, all of which are for sale after the event. Paavo’s work is reflective of raw talent although the titles to his photographs reflect a measure of incongruence. There is a noticeable mismatch between the description of the pictures and the images themselves. Although the initial response was lacklustre, Paavo said he is hoping that his visibility in the restaurant will be appreciated by a wider audience. The dances can be viewed at http://bit.ly/rain-dance-namibia. It has already registered more than 275,000 views.