Born 1949, Namibia. Lives in Swakopmund, Namibia.
Margaret Courtney-Clarke studied art and photography in South Africa and has spent the last four decades working as a photographer in Italy, the United States and across Africa.
Courtney-Clarke began her career working under Italian photographer and filmmaker Pasquale De Antonis before undertaking magazine assignments across Europe and Africa during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1979, she became a persona non grata under the apartheid laws and renounced her South African citizenship – she would later return to South West Africa under the protection of the United Nations and claim her Namibian citizenship. Throughout her career, Courtney-Clarke would pursue projects in Africa documenting feminine identity.
The body of work, Cry Sadness into the Coming Rain (2014–18), marks a new phase in Courtney- Clarke’s photographic work, documenting the artist’s return to Namibia and her engagement with its people and a landscape in crisis.
She has been recognised by the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis; the Kraszna-Krausz Book Award (longlisted); the 2018 PDN Photo Annual and the 2015 Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson HCB Award (nominated). Over 200 exhibitions of Courtney-Clarke’s photography have been held around the world.
Dedicated publications on Courtney-Clarke’s work include, amongst others, Cry Sadness into the Coming Rain (2017); her trilogy on the art of African women, Ndebele (2002); African Canvas (1990) and Imazighen (1996) as well as several collaborations with Maya Angelou.