Paul Shiakallis (1982) is a Johannesburg-born photographer of Cypriot descent, he delves into the multifaceted tensions stemming from his upbringing in apartheid-era South Africa and the subsequent transformations in the nation. Drawing inspiration from his parents' convenience store in Albertskroon, Shiakallis captivates by capturing the textures and characters that inhabit his surroundings.
His compositions skilfully intertwine human-centric subjects and themes within their respective environments, often emphasizing the enigmatic allure of night-time or the revealing qualities of ordinary objects like mirrors and curtains. Rejecting the artificial divisions imposed by society, Shiakallis employs social deconstruction to challenge viewers' biases based on factors such as class, race, nationality, and gender. His work primarily explores South African identities and societal structures, navigating the contradictions and conflicts that arise from a history of segregation and the country's present-day cultural expansion. Through active participation and archiving, Shiakallis offers a profound understanding of his place within these spaces and aims to foster dialogue on the complex dynamics of his homeland.
Currently based at his studio in Parkview, Johannesburg, Shiakallis works on personal and commercial projects and periodically teaches at The Market Photo Workshop in Newtown.