ARTISAN GROUPS BEHIND THE V&A’S REIMAGINED AFRICAN FESTIVE Claude Mutanho ofAmatuli: Contributed the flying birds. Amatuli sells unique, handcrafted treasures sourced from Mozambique to Morocco – all exquisite, with unique stories behind every item. Temba and Nombulelo Masala: The husband and wife team behind the standing birds. They use up-cycled and recycled materials, with a specific style developed in Namibia that Temba brought to South Africa. Ronel Jordaanand her team: Responsible for the felt planets and trees. An international award-winning designer, Ronel has a signature process behind her felt, which is created through patient hand friction and the rubbing of wet wool. She has a close-knit team of women; when she relocated from Joburg to Cape Town, she moved most of her team with her. Wola Nani: Created the papier-mâché planets, trees and up-cycled baubles. Wola Nani is a Cape Town-based trust that makes beautiful bowls and lampshades that are exported globally. The not-for-profit company’s mission is to enhance the capacity of the HIV and AIDS sector through research, advocacy, training and resources, to more effectively meet key challenges in improving the wellbeing of communities and people living with HIV and AIDS. Thabisa Mjo: Thabisa won The Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award and was the joint winner of 100% Design South Africa Designer of the Year 2019. She made the dramatic beaded pendant lights. Design Africa: Contributed to the basket installations. Founded by Binky Newman in 1995, Design Afrika supports the creative and entrepreneurial initiative of rural communities by providing a platform for the sale of ethically made, finely crafted, hand-woven basketry and fabrics. Jambo: Contributed to the basket installations. Jambo is a South African wholesaler that supplies quality handcrafted items and curios, in partnership with traditional craftsmen, women and rural workshops around Africa. The Alpha Group: Contributed to the basket installations. This group was founded by Kwa-Zulu Natal sisters Alpha and Norah Sibya, who work with a team of women to create gorgeous baskets that showcase the traditional craft. The BaTonga people: Contributed to the basket installations (the Mbinga baskets). Located in the Binga region by Lake Kariba, the BaTonga people have a beautiful, deceptively simple basket design – in this case, made from ilala palm. Centre Design a team of metalworkers and lighting specialists are responsible for all the metal structural and installation work on the big basket installations, our large outdoor tree and the huge Planet Earth. Our Workshopbased in Langa, created the Watershed up-cycled detergent bottle chandeliers. Our Workshop was founded by designer Heath Nash who leads an informal learning-while-working programme for young unemployed people. Sindiso Khumalo: Designed the exterior of the Summer Palace surface and costumes. Sindiso is one of SA’s leading textile and fashion designers, with a colourful visual style influenced by her Zulu and Ndebele heritage. She designs her vibrant textiles by hand, through watercolours and collage. Her focus is on sustainability, with an emphasis on contemporary African storytelling. Platform Creative Agency: Responsible for the vision and execution of the whole display. Cathy O’Clery (creative director) and Laurence Brick (Managing Director) head up Platform. Creative. They specialise in commercial and cultural curation in Africa, designing and creating immersive experiences, spaces and strategies that elevate brands and appeal to human curiosity, needs and desire. James MacNamara: is one of SA’s leading set and spatial designers who has worked on the opening and closing ceremonies of the FIFA World Cup 2010 is jointly responsible for the design of all installations, alongside Cathy O’Clery. Africa Nova: For the last 20 years, Africa Nova has brought customer curated and supplied the best of African craft, art and design from across the continent and sourced the beautiful Yoruba beaded thrones in the Palace. Monkey Biz: Created the 64 beaded creatures adorning the Summer Palace. Monkeybiz is an economic upliftment project dedicated to reviving the traditional craft of African beadwork and empowering women to become financially independent. Since 2000, Monkeybiz has supported just over 350 bead artists to continue creating these unique artworks. All profits from the sale of the artworks go back into the community where beaders are provided with food vouchers and burial funds for their immediate families. INDIVIDUAL CRAFTER BIOS Sindiso Khumalo Sindiso Khumalo, designer of theV&A Waterfront’s festive Summer Palace– is a leading South African sustainable textile and fashion designer. The multi-award-winning, Milan Fashion-Week darling has been featured in various international magazines like British and Italian Vogue. She’s also spoken on sustainability at the United Nations and the European Union. This year, she’s briefly departed from fashion to delight V&A visitors with a palace that embodies the Waterfront’s mission to bring Joy from Africa to the World. Khongoziwe Kuzani from Monkeybiz Khongoziwe started at Monkeybiz in 2009. As part of the V&A Waterfront’s reimagined African festive, she created Inkosana Yame-Afrika, the bright-nosed buck – South Africa’s answer to Rudolph – who guards the Summer Palace. She started beading at age 33, after being introduced to Monkeybiz by her aunt, “Before Monkeybiz, I was unable to find work. Now I am able to earn a living that allows me to provide for my children. I enjoy selecting the colour combinations while I bead.” She says she relates to the reindeer’s friendliness and enjoyed crafting his face and antlers the most. Her biggest wish for SA over the festive season? “I wish for education to improve and for all children to be able to go to schools where there are windows.” Victor Chiteura from Monkeybiz Victor helped to create Inkosana Yame-Afrika, the bright-nosed buck, as one of the 59 creatures adorning the V&A Waterfront’s festive Summer Palace. Before joining Monkeybiz in 2013, he was already earning a living from his craft. He says the business has helped him to continue to grow in his trade. His obsession with beautiful things started from a young age, “I was 22 when I became fascinated by wire framing artists working on the side of the roads.” He loves the challenge of sculpting new shapes and says his greatest challenge in making the buck was capturing a sense of action in its posture. “I was inspired by the kudu when making the reindeer and I imagined the branches of a tree when making the antlers.” As a Zimbabwean, Victor’s festive wish for South Africa is that foreigners are accepted as brothers and sisters in this country. Zisiwe Lumkwana from Monkeybiz Zisiwe created the exquisite thirsty dog – Qondabantu – for the V&A Waterfront’s Summer Palace display. She grew up in Nyanga and lives in Khayelitsha. At age ten, she was severely burned with hot oil on the right side of her face, which left her skin and eye damaged. As an adult, she left her husband and moved out with two young children, living on grant money and income earned from creating necklaces. In 2005, she helped a lady who was making beadwork for Monkeybiz, which is how she was introduced to the business. She says she pours her heart and soul into every artwork, “I do it with all my heart because it’s the bread for my children. When I’m doing my artwork, I do it for the person who will buy it, so they can know me as the person who created the artwork with beautiful colours. I do great artwork with my hands that people with no disabilities cannot do.” Mpilo Headman and Sizwe Shumane from Our Workshop Mpilo Headman and Sizwe Shumane are members of the Our Workshop team. Before Our Workshop, Sizwe had been “recycling, selling stuff at the robots [traffic lights], building cupboards, tiling, plumbing – everything”. He used to repurpose plastic bags for the items he would create, and joined Our Workshop because of his interest in recycling materials. “Our Workshop has taught me to use plastic bottles, too,” he says, “I’m using these skills to develop new products.” Mpilo joined Our Workshop to broaden his knowledge of art and design. “I’ve learned to work with plastic, leather and different design processes,” he says, “and I’m using these skills to create amazing artwork and products. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.