Gregor Jenkin is widely lauded as one of South Africa’s foremost designers. He was the first African designer to feature at Design Miami and has pieces in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art. And, in the June issue of House and Leisure, he was one of our design heroes. Self-described as a ‘maker of things’, Jenkin’s interest in engineering, intervention and re-imagining has shaped unique and storied pieces and created an aesthetic that is at once nostalgic and highly contemporary.
His solo show at the Southern Guild Silo gallery in Cape Town promises a broad spectrum of work, giving visitors insight into the Gregor Jenkin Studio as it exists today. New work inspired by the incidental shapes of heritage steel salvaged from the Silo district will be shown alongside well-known furniture and subtly adjusted Jenkin classics. ‘The furniture you recognise will have some sort of nuance,’ says Jenkin. ‘There’ll be a subtlety that people who know my work will understand and people who don’t know my work will be interested in.’
The simplicity, beauty and range of Gregor’s work is the result of a thoughtful, steadfastly low-tech process that is part engineering, part sculpture. ‘[Jenkin’s] focus on form combined with the depth of his narratives gives the work a quality that transcends definition,’ says Julian McGowan, COO of Southern Guild.