Justine Mahoney. Marble Magazine
'Invader' is one of three sculptures from Justine Mahoney's Tainted series to be featured in the debut issue of Marble magazine. Image: Tom Hartford. Styling: Nathalie Francis. ©2018 Paul Barry Design Limited. 

Three of South African artist Justine Mahoney’s ‘child soldiers’ have been adorned in vintage jewellery for a feature in the first issue of Marble magazine.

Justine Mahoney. Marble Magazine
‘Heroine’ by Justine Mahoney. Image: Tom Hartford. Styling: Nathalie Francis. ©2018 Paul Barry Design Limited.

Known for creating poignant sculptures and collages influenced by her childhood growing up in Johannesburg during the apartheid era, Justine Mahoney is no stranger to receiving recognition for her work. 

Justine Mahoney. Marble Magazine
Justine Mahoney’s ‘Heroine’ was adorned in vintage jewellery for Marble magazine. Image: Tom Hartford. Styling: Nathalie Francis. ©2018 Paul Barry Design Limited.

Her bronze-cast sculptures painted in water-based enamel have become iconic on the local art scene thanks to their thought-provoking themes and insightful commentary about privilege and loss of innocence – a topic that is of particular relevance in South Africa.

Justine Mahoney. Marble Magazine
‘Mighty Ndebele’ by Justine Mahoney. Image: Tom Hartford. Styling: Nathalie Francis. ©2018 Paul Barry Design Limited.

Although seemingly playful in appearance, Mahoney’s sculptures represent the fears, nightmares, dreams and aspirations of children, and are embellished with elements taken from pop culture and African art.

Justine Mahoney. Marble Magazine
A gold-cast version of Mahoney’s ‘Mighty Ndebele’ sculpture was nominated as one of Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Objects in South Africa 2018. Image: Tom Hartford. Styling: Nathalie Francis. ©2018 Paul Barry Design Limited.

Now, three of Mahoney’s ‘child soldier’ sculptures from her Tainted series have been featured in the first issue of Marble magazine dripping in vintage jewellery. ‘Heroine’, ‘Mighty Ndebele’ and ‘Invader’ were styled with glistening jewels by fashion stylist Nathalie Francis and shot by still-life photographer Tom Hartford.

Justine Mahoney. Marble Magazine
‘Invader’ by Justine Mahoney. Image: Tom Hartford. Styling: Nathalie Francis. ©2018 Paul Barry Design Limited.

The result is an intriguing juxtaposition of decadence and determination, as Mahoney’s sculptures can be seen as symbols to move forward in the face of adversity. Her inclusion in this international publication is not only a coup to her work, but also reflects the recognition of South African and African art on a global scale.

Justine Mahoney. Marble Magazine
‘Invader’ forms part of Justine Mahoney’s Tainted series, which was on show at Southern Guild Gallery in Johannesburg last year. Image: Tom Hartford. Styling: Nathalie Francis. ©2018 Paul Barry Design Limited.

Marble is an independent UK-based lifestyle and photography magazine headed up by Editor and Creative Director Paul Barry. Available in both print and digital formats, it playfully investigates fresh modes of image-making and questions what is important in the worlds of fashion, jewellery, music and the arts.

Want more of Justine Mahoney? She talks about her Tainted exhibition, which showed at Southern Guild gallery in Johannesburg last year, here.