News and Trends, News and Trends

Talking trends with two local creatives

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To tie in with House and Leisure’s Jan/Feb Trends issue, we asked two local creatives and industry experts to put a personal spin on the topic. So instead of presenting a definitive list of what's expected to be popular in 2018, we explore what trends mean to people in the context of their lives and work.

Nicola Cooper | senior trend analyst and cultural strategist at Nicola Cooper & Associates

Do you pay attention to trends in relation to the work you do? Despite being in the field for almost 10 years now, trends have always played a part in my career. I think understanding trends is vital for any business in order to strategise for the ever-evolving consumer. What role do trends play in your day-to-day life?  A vital role. I eat, breathe and sleep information – this is what has driven my passion, thoughts and career. It is wonderful to be able to fuel yourself daily with what most drives, fascinates and interests you. If you had to choose a trend from 2017 to carry with you into the new year, what would it be?  Transparency. It is a very necessary time for individuals, businesses, political parties and corporations to understand that people have a great level of distrust as a result of the current landscape. Being truthful, authentic and transparent is what is needed in order to rebuild that trust. And which new trend will you be keeping a close eye on in 2018?  I will be following the ripple effect of many of the sociological trends that have come into fruition in 2017. Contemporary Feminism, Contemporary Black African Identity, Truthfulness, Transparency, the concept of #Flawsome and our trend, which I coined almost seven years ago now – Africa is Where It Is At  – and how these are going to cause change and affect business. We are in a fascinating time. Follow Nicola on Twitter and Instagram.

Londi Modiko | co-director and curator at Whatiftheworld and Southern Guild gallery in Johannesburg

Do you pay attention to trends in relation to the work you do? Yes, I pay attention to what is current in contemporary art because I have to be constantly learning in order to do my work well. I go to student exhibitions, visit artists' studios, read books, and subscribe to local and international online art publications. I am also fortunate to sometimes travel abroad for business, and always make it a point to visit major galleries and museums that are championing the contemporary art discourse. Researching informs most of the work I do. What role do trends play in your day to day life?  I am inquisitive and gather a lot of information on the many things that interest me – Japanese architecture, interior trends, fashion – so I tend to know a lot about what is cutting edge. However, my taste in things is very specific and almost rigid (but I prefer to call it 'clean and classic'), so I generally don’t apply most trends in my life. If you had to choose a trend from 2017 to carry with you into the new year, what would it be?  The world is now realising the importance of integrating black artists into mainstream art spaces such as museums, galleries and the broader market. I would like this ‘trend’ to be carried over to 2018 and beyond. And which new trend will you be keeping a close eye on in 2018?  I will be keeping a close eye on the shift in the gallery model, the white cube and how it is being re-imagined. An example of this is exhibitions that are held in spaces that work well with the artworks as opposed to artists making work that will fit the gallery. Follow Londi on Instagram.