It seems strange that many of the striking pieces on show at Southern Guild Gallery’s new group exhibition, GRAPHICA, which opened to the public on 8 April 2016, have not yet been seen in South Africa, despite the fact that they were designed and created here and have already been showcased at overseas festivals.
But so it is. That’s the point of the highly anticipated exhibition, after all: to introduce South African collectors and art appreciators to phenomenal design pieces made on home soil that are certainly worth putting money into.
As Southern Guild founder Trevyn McGowan says, ‘Southern Guild is forging ahead with repositioning design work as investment pieces in this country’.
As the name of the show suggests, the works being showcased are boldly graphic, featuring dramatic silhouettes, intricate surface details, eye-catching patterns and interesting hues. They include, among others, the new Kassena Isibheqe cabinets from Dokter and Misses; an arresting bench designed by Laurie Wiid van Heerden and ‘tattooed’ by Ceramic Matters; a suspended seat by Porky Hefer; ceramic vessels with armour-like plating by Madoda Fani; and a whimsical lighting installation by David Krynauw. In addition, there are also pieces by Brett Murray, Bronze Age, Daniella Mooney, Driaan Claassen, Gregor Jenkin, Justine Mahoney, Rodan Kane Hart and Xandre Kriel.
While all the items have international appeal, they’re clearly rooted in an African aesthetic and feature diverse local references, making GRAPHICA a particularly relevant body of work for South African viewers. To enhance the experience of seeing these works, the gallery space itself has been transformed with moody repainted walls and dark finishes.
Needless to say, visiting the exhibition is a multi-faceted encounter. Here are a few of the highlights that viewers have documented so far:
a typographical piece by brett murray
xandre kriel’s samoosa table
@xandrekriel @southernguildgallery #graphica Samoosa Table @davidkrynauw lamps @_arrcc #galleryvisit A photo posted by Nina Sierra Rubia (@ninskigirl) on
I actually don’t know how to explain how great it is to see design pieces treated like art. Okay, this might be art but there are benches and cabinets at @southernguildgallery that look like masterpieces. Seriously, the #Graphica exhibition is worth a visit. #firstthursdays A photo posted by Jess Ross (@jessrossy) on
a suspended porky hefer nest
#southernguild #graphica #exhibition #firstthursdays #texture #capetown #blackandwhite #porkyhefer #backagain A photo posted by Syndi Kahn (@syndidavkinkahn) on
hand-drawn details by ceramic matters on a wiid design bench
timber server by koop design meets head sculpture by bronze age
the gallery space
What an incredible exhibition at @southernguildgallery : Graphica. Worth a visit if you are in Cape Town. Tag #localZaDesign for a feature. ________________________ #Design #productdesign #designer #southafrica #southafrican #southafricandesign #supportlocal #inspiration #f4f #beautiful #product #furniture #furnituredesign #productdesign #interiordesign #industrialdesign #architecture #timeless #southernguild #capetown #johannesburg #chairdesign #chair #art #gallery #archilovers #interior #inspiration #jozi #art #graphica A photo posted by South African Design (@local_za_design) on
The exhibition runs from 8 April to 1 July 2016 (Monday to Friday; Saturdays by appointment) at the Southern Guild Gallery in Cape Town’s Woodstock.