* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Araminta de Clermont received her MFA in Cape Town and is now based in London.
This series is an exploration into the tattoos and lives of members of the South African prison gang Numbers. She photographs them upon their release back into society after many years, if not decades, in prison.
Rules against tattooing in the South African prison system are enforced with severe penalties, but tattooing remains a common occurrence, says de Clermont. The drive to make marks is so strong that equipment is sourced or made against all odds.
Pigment is made by mixing ground-up trash cans, industrial rubber washers, batteries, and bricks with saliva. It is applied using furniture nails or sewing needles.
Her commercial work includes news and feature photography for The Times, The Sunday Times, and Guardian, among others. Her personal photography has been exhibited internationally and collected by South African Art Gallery, University of South Africa, and University of Cape Town.
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