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Meet the HL Next Level 2019

From an illustrator to a jeweller and an artist, there's one thing that unites the HL Next Level 2019 talents: they all create their work by hand.

Illustrations Stacey Knipe

Hl Next Level 2019 | House and Leisure

Each year, House and Leisure creates a special feature that is all about up-and-coming South African creative talent. We look closely at the worlds of decor and design, and ask architects, ceramicists, product designers, artists, jewellers and photographers to tell us who we should be watching out for in their areas of work. 

This year, the team recognised that there has been a palpable return to the handmade recently, and so there's one thing that unites the HL Next Level 2019 talents: they all create their work by hand.

Discover this year's HL Next Level creatives below.

ALSO READ: Discover the HL Next Level Talents from 2018 

Meet the HL Next Level 2019

Stacey Knipe, Illustrator

HL Next Level 2019 Stacey Knipe | House and Leisure

An illustrator and designer whose technique has been described as 'digital oil painting', Stacey Knipe has always loved creating with her hands. 'There’s something unique about it – when there’s a chance to make mistakes and embrace imperfection, which is often where the beauty lies,' she says. Knipe is behind the unique illustrated portraits of all nine of our 2019 Next Level talents, working with elements of their creative processes, their personalities and their photographs to produce these artistic representations. 

Find out more about this HL Next Level 2019 creative here.

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Pascale Theron, Textile Designer

HL Next Level 2019 Pascale Theron | House and Leisure

Pascale Theron's work is hard to categorise, with projects ranging from illustrating children’s books to creating culturally clever textiles (like her painfully honest White Guilt quilt). But it’s her Feathered Fabrics that have really caught people’s attention, with Theron taking individual ostrich feathers and making them into a yarn that is then handwoven into cloth. Ethically sourcing her feathers from ostrich farms in Oudtshoorn, the textile designer says she aims to transform the material into an organic yet cruelty-free functional interior fabric.

Find out more about this HL Next Level 2019 creative here.

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John Baloyi, Photographer

HL Next Level 2019 John Baloyi | House and Leisure

Not many photographers still shoot on film, but for John Baloyi, the handmade allure of analog is too romantic and dramatic to resist. Capturing mostly portraits his is a body of work that celebrates love and the way it makes people see the world. Collaborating with his wife and muse tIumeleng Baloyi, the pair have worked on commercial campaigns for brands like MRP, adidas and Bisquit Cognac, but are now shifting their focus to fine art and documentary photography. 'I feel that there aren’t enough young people shooting meaningful and intentional content,' says Baloyi, 'and we aim to breathe new life into this genre of photography.’

Find out more about this HL Next Level 2019 creative here.

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Lesego Bantsheng, Architect

HL Next Level 2019 Lesego Bantsheng | House and Leisure

Architect Lesego Bantsheng won the 2018 Corobrik Landscape Architecture Award with her visionary Masters thesis 'Pula! A Ene: Rain! Let it Rain – Occupying Land in Restituted Barolong Homelands', which challenges the notions of what a ‘modern’ African city could be when compared to the complex dynamics of a traditional rural African village. She is committed to creating great architecture that works towards a more just and equal society, and sees her thesis as a powerful reflection of her own story.

Find out more about this HL Next Level 2019 creative here.

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Vusumuzi Ndlovu, Chef

HL Next Level 2019 Vusumuzi Ndlovu | House and Leisure

Since being voted one of the top seven young chefs in the world at the 2018 SPellegrino Young Chef Awards – aweing the judges with his Isicupho creation, a dish consisting of heavily smoked duck leg biltong and pumpkin fermented in umqombothi – inspirational chef Vusumuzi Ndlovu headed up The Marabi Club in Johannesburg, where his local flavours set the tone for the fledgling restaurant. Now he’s answering the question of what’s next for South African cuisine by producing his own ingredients. ‘Cooking is a craft as much as it is an art. We can’t create incredible dishes without first understanding the fundamentals of what we do,’ he says.  

Find out more about this HL Next Level 2019 creative here.

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Philisa Zibi, Jeweller

HL Next Level 2019 Philisa Zibi | House and Leisure

Jeweller Philisa Zibi made her mark on the creative scene with a range of silver spoons she created for The Collection Studio in Port Elizabeth, and was one of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives in 2013. Her graphic sensibility and carefully practiced eye for interesting metal combinations have put her Ma’art Jewellery line on the map, with it featuring on major creative platforms around the world including International Jewellery London. ‘Craft is critical in my practice,’ she says, adding that she explores her past and the skills passed down to her through generations in her work. 'To me, great art is enhanced by the skill of craft, which is why I’m always learning new techniques and strengthening those I already know.'

Find out more about this HL Next Level 2019 creative here.

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 Zanoxolo Mgqeku, Ceramicist

HL Next Level 2019 Zanoxolo Mgqeku | House and Leisure

Despite today's escalating loss of ancient crafts and traditional techniques due to the rapid global industrialisation of developing economies , 32-year-old Zanoxolo Mgqeku is making sure that the secrets and lessons of sand-cast ceramics survive the ravages of time. Mgqeku uses traditional methods to create his mesmerising vessels, but combines the almost archaeological sand-cast textures with contemporary glazes and markings. ‘These pieces, in their weathered, post-biotic condition, can start dialogues on global issues, such as climate change and industrialisation,’ he says.  

Find out more about this HL Next Level 2019 creative here.

ALSO READ: Top SA Ceramicists Create a Collection For House and Leisure

Roxanne Ferreira, Interior Designer

HL Next Level 2019 Roxanne Ferreira | House and Leisure

Roxanne Ferreira of Arrange Studio has a unique approach to interior design, where local creativity is the star of the show, and colour is used intelligently in the process. She has always preferred hand and analog work over digital – even when it isn’t always the most time-efficient option – and fully immerses herself in every aspect of her work. ‘People think that all I do is buy nice things, but the reality sees me role-playing a lighting layout with dinner plates on my living room floor; using a headlight to mark out a pitch-black building site; combing a beachfront in search of driftwood to make an emergency chandelier… it never ends!’ she says.

Find out more about this HL Next Level 2019 creative here.

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Nolan Oswald Dennis, Artist

HL Next Level 2019 Nolan Oswald Dennis | House and Leisure

Technology and art intersect in the work of Nolan Oswald Dennis, a multidisciplinary artist who describes his process as an ongoing exploration of the ‘black consciousness of space’. The 2016 FNB Art Prize winner and alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology exhibited an outstanding body of work in January entitled Options – his second solo show at the Goodman Gallery in Cape Town. ‘I try to determine which systems govern an idea I’m interested in, and then I try to build a counter-system to break that idea – to open it up and see it differently. I usually take something I know and force it onto a thing I don’t know,' he says.

Find out more about this HL Next Level 2019 creative here.

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