Moesha Magagula Raphael

Artist Catalogue

Virtual Exhibition

me, you, us

This project is about care, care that I am giving and teaching myself. It is centred around reconstructing memories from my childhood, exploring my identity, and reimagining concepts around family.

I call this project me, you, us and through it I grasp at and reimagine ideas of intimacy, care, trauma, and interpersonal relationships within the context of family. My work revolves around memory, repair, and reconnection to these ideas. This body of work is contextually set in conversation between myself and family. The title voices this entangled connection.

My childhood is very memorable in the ways that it was sometimes joyous and mostly emotionally tumultuous. Growing older has meant realising that I had emotional needs that went unmet as a child and this only became evident when I left home and started fostering my own non-familial relationships. me, you, us attempts to visually and emotionally explore the negative and positive aspects of my childhood experiences. I am exploring the possibility of an alternative past reality that acknowledges the duality of care and pain within my family history and childhood.

I am fascinated with how old photographs function as valuable objects, that romanticise the past. The significance of a family photo lies in its ability to evoke emotions and memories, allowing individuals to temporarily revisit who they once were. A romanticisation of the past is not a true channelling of my own childhood experiences. In my work I shift old family photographs and personal memories from being an experience of stagnant romanticisation into an emotive space for reimagining, repair, and connection. This disjointing of my family archive from its precious subjectivity makes way to reconstruct a safer entry for my re-imagination of the past.

I disjoint figures and scenes to intentionally channel intimacy through physical closeness, as well as, to draw attention to my distance from intimacy. The recurring textile elements represent an entanglement of connection and an intentional practicing of care within myself and how I’m exploring my childhood through gentleness.


I always felt alone

in the home that was

full of people

alone in be the bed that

was a reach away from my sisters’

in the room we shared



when we commenced

the nightly soapy watching ritual

before bed


there were no ‘good mornings’,

and ‘I love you… enjoy school’

no ‘how are you feeling today’

no ‘I’m proud of you’


there were birthdays.

those promised a moment

of happy limelight

and cake for lunch and breakfast

the next day


I don’t remember hearing the

words ‘I love you and

‘you are safe’

I don’t don’t remember feeling



I held my breath but,

but not too much

as to not sound an alarm

not too much attention


but I still wanted to be seen


not scolding, but seen. not,

‘so you don’t need lunch’

‘why was I called into school’

brace myself, seen

the other kind.


be kind where I’m not scared

and I can speak

the kind that gives space to

laugh and smile and cry

the kind that gives


I still want to be seen

to be loved and cared for

and to receive


to touch hands, and embrace

to feel less alone

to know and be known