It’s still all things Design Indaba 2016 here at The Design Tabloid.
And a quick little indemnity here: This is a longer than normal read, please bear with me. South Africa is loaded with talented creative folk – that has always been the belief of The Design Tabloid. Our philosophy from the outset has been to use this blog as a platform to reveal these creatives not only to the locals in SA, but further afield. Design Indaba affords us this opportunity and we take advantage of it, to share with our readers.
I attended the launch of the 2016 Emerging Creatives at the V & A Watershed. I must say, it takes a bit of doing to get my head around these Creatives being presented outside of the Expo environment. It seemed a little drab by comparison. Yet, despite that nothing could take away from the standard and quality of the creatives that were featured this year. The upside of this different venue was that I had time enough to absorb the exhibited works, which was previously something of a struggle in the crowded Expo Hall.
The Class of 2016 are serious contenders in the world of design. Since there are quite a number of Creatives it is always so very difficult to give all of them mention in our review. As they are to be found among the few selected Exhibitors, is credit indeed to them. That already sets them apart from the herd. For this reason alone, I have decided to work in categories and present you with some of each category. Marica and I have always used this criterion “What and who made a lasting impression on us.” Those are the ones to be featured here. Naturally this is quite a subjective way of doing things, but then that is what blogging is all about.
However, before I launch into my “first impressions peeps” I just want to add that I stand in awe of these young, emerging creatives. Being a creative business person, I know that it take resolve, faith in your product/service, money and risk to get out of the starting blocks. Along come these young creatives, put their money and trust into their talents, take the risks and put their products out there for all to view. Long may their business spirit and ventures last and kudos to them.
Being so entrenched in the world of interiors, I am naturally drawn to any piece of Object‘d Art, furniture, fabric or image without much effort. This year however, I have to confess that I was drawn to a fashion creative, cultural explorer, followed by an illustrator.
LACED by Dhiantha Achary:
First up (probably because I am such a sucker and fan of sneakers or as locally known – tekkies) a young lady by the name of Dhiantha Achary. She has taken her artist skills and applied it onto casual footwear. Yes – I know that the branded sneakers are out there. Nevertheless, the kind of hand-crafted, customised footwear pattern she creates, gives the unique flavour. Her brand is called LACED. Her business started out as a way to create unique gifts for select family and friends. However, as the popularity of her shoes grew so did her orders. She tells me that each shoe takes at least 9 hours to paint. Wow! Dhiantha is developing new strategies on how to collaborate with other artists on the LACED project and expand the business to incorporate more than footwear. I say – You Go Girl! All the best going forward!
+NESS by Max Melville & Jamil Randera:
Have you ever been completely drawn in by the subject matter of an exhibition stand you were viewing? Well that is how I felt when approaching the work of Max Melville & Jamil Randera. Their work falls into the Illustrations category (for me anyway). The name of their brand is +NESS. Quirky hey!
This splurb on the Design Indaba website says it best: “The project and its artworks present an array of architectural projects that help define the skylines, culture, and history of South African cities. Accurately drawn facades of different buildings are paired with unique colour schemes to express their particular character and context and ultimately uncover each building’s essence, charm, and ‘+NESS’. Displayed together, the collective body of work reveals the ‘+NESS’ of our cities.”
Again – these images / artworks, so beautifully illustrating our local iconic buildings and culture, so did it for me. I could easily include their works of art into any relative interior project that we undertake.
Find +NESS on: Instagram
Totamma by Galerekwe Maimane:
The third creative that attracted me was the work of Galerekwe Maimane, in the category Multi Media Design. She is an aspiring film director whose body of work is inspired by irrational fears and insecurities. Her exhibit held my attention the longest. I could not pull myself away from the film on view. This is probably because the diversity of cultural practises and heritages throughout South Africa appeals to me. The digital project is named “Totamma”.
Galerekwe had this to say about the project: “This is about exploring African identity and culture. An attempt at undressing nuanced and complex experiences not unpacking them. It currently consists of a YouTube series ‘then/now’, plus a companion book called ‘U+’ and can be accessed from www.totamma.co.za…” If this is your kind of interest, then go take a peek for yourself.
Okay – so this was Part 1 of a possible 3 instalments. What do you think of these creatives? Tune in again next week for Part 2.
Cheers for now all.
I have to confess, I did not enjoy this year’s Design Indaba as much as I did previous years. Not because it was any less inspiring or amazing but because I was trying very hard to suppress a bad case of mutant sinusitis/flu. You know, the kind that laughs in the face of antibiotics.
A took a rather fevered (pun intended) rush through the Expo space and tried to absorb as much beauty as possible. It was also good to finally put friendly faces to some of the local creatives we’ve cheered for in the past – the talented ladies behind Touchee Feelee and Handmade By Me for instance.
As always I lingered around the Emerging Creatives section – they did not disappoint!
Here are some of my favs…
I adored the colourful ceramic pieces by Cape Town-based artist Catherine Ash. Her handmade range included delicate tortoise shells sculpted from porcelain and interesting ceramic wall installations. However, my favourite part of her vibrant range was the contemporary collection of plates, bowls, vases and mugs which featured striking trendy geometric patterns in bold colours.
Ag, you know I can’t resist quirky illustrations – of course I fell head-over-heels for these detailed black ink beauties by Maria Magdalena van Wyk! En dan het sy so mooi Afrikaanse naam ook nog (I too come from a loooong line of Maria Magdalena’s and Maria Johanna Catharina’s – guess what “Marica” is short for…)
Each line drawing takes inspiration from Van Wyk’s life, such as poetry, strong female influences or her favourite songs. She sells these limited edition illustration prints through her eponymous company, Maria Magdalena.
I know we rarely touch fashion here at The Tabloid – it’s not really our bag – we’re all about the décor. However, the stunning creations by fashion design graduate Kiara Gounder had me drooling! The structured clothing pieces were beautifully sleek, edgy yet elegant. The real showstopper however was a jaw-dropping 3D printed neckpiece that seems incredibly delicate and detailed.
Kiara has been exploring the potential of 3D printing in fashion. For this particular range she sought inspiration from microscopic images of fossils, plant cells and insect cells for inspiration for the detailed patterning.
So check out this cute little guy…
It’s called the Sitting Lamp and it’s the brainchild of art director turned product designer, Graeme Bettles. Graeme also happens to be one of the talented Emerging Creatives we saw at this year’s Design Indaba – and we did promise to share our favourites with you!
The adorable task lamp is handmade from gorgeous solid pink beech wood and comes in two sizes. The smaller size makes for a quirky desk lamp, whilst the larger lamp – which at 55cm high isn’t that “little” at all. Just imagine an awesome toddler-sized lamp perched on the edge of your table – the perfect statement piece.
The Pinocchio-esque Sitting Lamp has tons of personality – the figure can be easily adjusted into a range of different poses to look happy, sad, curious, mischievous, or well… just to cast some light on whatever you’re reading. Shame, maybe one day it too will turn into a real boy…
One thing is sure – it 100% awesome and 250% cute. What do you think? If you love it as much as we do, you can purchase your own
little boy Sitting Lamp through 5rooms.com!