News and Trends, News and Trends

Fabrics and Photos


Of all the creative goings-on that we're bound to be treated to as the Decorex decor and lifestyle fair rolls into Cape Town at the end of April, we're certain we're going to find a real highlight in the form of the Picture Africa exhibition.

Based at the 100% Textiles pavilion (a precursor to 100% Design South Africa, which takes place later in the year), this exhibit aims to explore the relationship between fabrics and photography and the way in which these two mediums help to create a visual identity for the African continent. It's a forward-thinking show that looks to celebrate the vibrancy and boldness of Africa through the amalgamation of textiles and street and studio photography, while also encouraging viewers to think about how these platforms might evolve in the future.

picture4 Model Hauwa Dauda wears a piece from Marianne Fassler's Resort 16 Collection. Creative direction by Rich Mnisi and photography by Paul Samuels.

'Picture Africa is intended to offer a point of stimulus and fresh inspiration,' explains curator Cathy O'Clery, the revered Creative Director of Platform Creative Agency and the Programmes Director of 100% Design. 'It is meant to spark conversations and creative thought - all of which helps fuel our industry to create new products.'

The new products she refers to include the potential exciting results of digital printing, which sees photography and fabrics merge.

Final Salim x 12 Salim; photograph by Ed Suter.

Aside from all-new fabrics made in this collaborative way, visitors to the exhibition can also expect to see images from prominent African photographers, such as Ed Suter and Phyllis Galembo; work by leading local fashion icons, like Marianne Fassler and Laduma Ngxokolo; and prints by renowned textile designers from Mali, Nigeria, South Africa and other countries.

While each element will most certainly be interesting in its own right, it's the picture of Africa as a whole that we can't wait to see through this unusual lens.

Picture2 Salim; photograph by Ed Suter.

The exhibition will run at Decorex Cape Town at the CTICC from 29 April to 2 May 2016, but if you miss it then, you can catch it again at 100% Design South Africa in Joburg between 5 and 10 August 2016.

Main image: Indigo fabrics by Djiguiyaso. Creative direction by Cathy O'Clery and photography by Adriaan Louw.