T h e   P h o t o g r a p h y   o f


Tracey Derrick Photographer South Africa


home | photo projects | biography | projects, awards & publications | selected exhibitions

Washing line, 2005.
Cell salon, 2005. Debbie - 26 years old, convicted of armed robbery, sentenced to 2 years. 6 cases in 4 months. "I was getikked and needed money, would steal anything and everything." Lula - 29 years old, convicted of fraud, sentenced to 6 years. Auto bank and credit card fraud.
Local boy, 2005. Jackie - 28 years old, convicted of armed robbery, sentenced to 4 years. Drinking and mandrax gives you a feeling to stab and take.
Fuck dem cops, 2005. Evelyn - 21 years old, convicted of murder, sentenced to 8 years. Been in prison since she was 14 years old, when she committed her contract killing.
Shower I, 2005.
Washing Up, 2005. Janine - 29 years old, convicted of murder during a 28’s gang fight, sentenced to 10 years. 2nd sentence; cut a girlfriend’s ear off in a jealousy rage

Eye Inside

Women inmates at the Malmesbury prison

In August 2005, I started documenting the women inmates at the Malmesbury Women’s Prison.  From an initial shyness around me and my camera, grew a warm and intimate experience between us.  These women shared their life stories and experiences with me, reinforcing that each of us is an individual yet, we all have similar needs in our lives.

By the end of the year I wanted to give something real and positive back to them.  Their daily lives in prison were uneventful and no rehabilitation programmes were being offered to them.  I decided to add an educational component to my project and teach them some photography.  I wanted to share my skills and empower them to become more independent once they re-entered society. 

I then approached Pick n’ Pay, who generously supported my idea. 

I ran an eight week programme, teaching the women to use a basic 35mm camera.  None of them had had any prior experience and they produced unique images of their world inside prison, to us on the outside.

Thank you to the women inmates of the Malmesbury prison for sharing their lives with me, and the warders and prison authorities who facilitated this process.  My sincere appreciation to the 'vroue diens' from the Dutch Reformed Church, Swartland North, for donating materials and wool to the inmates.  And of course, thank you to Pick n’ Pay for making this all possible.

The positive outcome of this project is that it has set a ball rolling – it has made the community aware of the inmates and opened the door to further empowerment projects.


Solo Exhibitions

* December 2007

Joao Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions

* September 2009

'Us' at Johannesburg Art Gallery, curated by Simon Njami and Bettina Malcomes.

* February 2010 'Body pf Work', VANSA, Cape Town