Mozambican Art Nelsa Guambe Merging Art and Sustainable Design

 

Nelsa Guambe - Piratas Do Pau wine rack from recycled water heater sustainable product design in Mozambique

Nelsa Guambe is a self-taught artist who lives and works in Maputo, Mozambique. Primarily a painter Nelsa’s work moves beyond the canvas to incorporate product design, where working in collaboration with a local design studio, Piratas Do Pau her colourful and surreal images help to transform discarded water heaters collected from the city’s streets into distinctive functional products such as wine racks and lighting. As one of the designer-makers I had the pleasure of selecting for the IFA Pure Gold exhibition, which explores rubbish and its use in sustainable design to creating objects of value in design, I thought this would be a great opportunity to get to know more about Nelsa and her inventive designs.

 

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IFA Pure Gold Upcycled! Upgraded! Exhibition Exploring Sustainable Design

Alafuro Sikoki-Coleman H++, Chair and table set at IFA Pure Gold Exhibition

 

Greetings from the city of Hamburg in Germany where I am attending the press conference and opening of Pure Gold – Upcycled! Upgraded! a forward-thinking exhibition that explores rubbish, more specifically how found and waste materials are being used the world over to create objects of value, hence the title, Pure Gold. As one of the curators, I had the honour of selecting designers-makers to represent sub-Saharan Africa.

 

[Image credit: H++, Chair and table set, 2011; Water hyacinth, metal, yarn, wood chair – Alafuro Sikoki-Coleman]

 

 

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Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair Presents The 2017 Well Made In Africa Exhibitors

Tongoro Made In Africa - Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair

 

Earlier this year, I was honoured to have been appointed the guest curator for the prestigious Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair’s Well Made in Africa showcase. 2017 introduces a new, exquisite selection of Well Made in Africa exhibitors from the continent under the curatorship of Tapiwa Matsinde, author of Contemporary Design Africa. Tapiwa presents a selection that is anchored in heritage & modernity. This year Sanlam HmC will host the work of a dynamic group of designers who have been chosen for their innovative use of Africa’s diverse craft heritages to create modern sophisticated products for contemporary living. And with the October opening fast approaching I am delighted to share with you the details and introduce the amazing designers and artisanal talent I selected, as follows

 

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A Peaceful Weekend Home In Zimbabwe’s Matobo Hills

Khyetitshe-Weekend home Matopos Zimbabwe Africa Travel

 

Matobo also known as Matopos in the southern region of Zimbabwe is an area of outstanding natural beauty, known for its imposing gravity-defying granite formations, balancing rock formations created by the gradual erosion of the area’s granite plateau. These formations form the Matobo National Hills a part of the Matobo National Park. The Matobo Hills are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as the area is recognised for the highest concentration of prehistoric rock paintings in Southern Africa. It is also the historical land of King Mzilikazi and his son Lobengula. For lovers of wildlife the Matobo National Park is also home to significant populations of black eagles and black and white rhino. And it is in these picture perfect surrounds located just outside the Park that you will find a home aptly called Khayelitshe, which is the Ndebele word for “house in stone”. Khayelitshe is the weekend home of Beks and Sophia Ndlovu and their three children. The family who live nearby in Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo escape to the Matobo Hills most weekends for peace existence away from the demands of busy and digital lives. I came acrosS the home on a feature in the South African design magazine VISI.

 

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Mashirbirya Patterns Inspire Furniture Made In Kenya

Moran Munyuthe Mashirbirya chair Made In Kenya

 

Centuries old Mashirbirya patterns have inspired a contemporary collection of limited edition furniture made on Kenya’s, Lamu Island. Architect, Moran Munyuthe who lives and works in Lamu, designed the collection called The Mashirbirya Collection, which comprises a table and chair. Mashirbirya patterns are seen in Arabic-Bantu architecture, usually part of a wooden lattice screen that is used to shade the interior of buildings and decorate the exterior. Mashirbirya patterns are intricate, the style reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Lamu and how culture of the Arab traders to Africa’s East coast where assimilated into the local Bantu culture.

 

 

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Le BHV Marais Paris Celebrates South African Art and Design

South Africa x Le BVH Marais

 

Paris is having a love affair with all things contemporary Africa design, fashion, culture, and lifestyle. First is was Africa as the guest of honour at the Paris Art Fair held in March/April, then Africa Now at the Galeries Lafayette shopping destination, and now the iconic department store Le BHV Marais in the heart of the historic and trendy Marais district, which dedicates almost two months to celebrating contemporary South African art and design and culture.

 

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Remembering Kossi Aguessy, A Visionary Designer and Artist

Designer and Artist Kossi Aguessy

 

It is with great shock and sadness that I learnt about the death of the designer and artist Kossi Aguessy on 17th April 2017 on what was his 40th birthday. Having first discovered and featured his work on the website in 2011, I later had the privilege of interviewing him for a Design Indaba profile. The exchange was both fascinating and insightful as he shared his hopes and visions for future projects.

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PPC Imaginarium Awards Supporting South African Art and Design

The PPC Imaginarium Awards is an ambitious South African art and design competition aimed at providing emerging artists and designers with the opportunity to showcase their talents through the medium of concrete. Launched several years ago as a project of the innovation department of South African cement production company, PPC Ltd, the awards have since grown in stature with this years Awards attracting 869 registered entries, from which 55 finalists have been chosen. The PPC Imaginarium Awards features five categories: Film, Industrial Design, Sculpture, Fashion and Jewellery all presenting an array of exciting and imaginative works that demonstrate the versatility and unexpected beauty of concrete. An overall winner will be chosen, along with category winners and runner-ups on May 18th 2017.

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Changing Africa’s Narrative Through Arts and Design

 

African Communications Week is a global campaign that will run from 22-26 May inclusive. AfricaCommsWeek will see workshops, conferences and seminars held around the world, getting together to discuss the theme is ‘What Is The Role Of Communicators In Africa’s Development’. Events are being held in Nairobi, Accra, Paris, Brussels, Abidjan and more.

Whether or not you attend or host an event, there is still an opportunity to get involved by sharing your thoughts or visuals channels such as blogs and social media platforms using the hashtag #africacommunicationsweek

I, myself will be guest speaking at dinner-debate hosted by Muntu World Project on Monday 22nd in Belgium, where we will be discussing ‘Changing Africa’s Narrative Through Arts and Design’ as part of the global vent programme. For more details and to book tickets visit the eventbrite page.

 

– Tapiwa

BEAUTIFUL: Portraits of Black Beauty By Mario Epanya

If you are follower of African fashion, style and beauty, then you are probably familiar with the images of Paris-based photographer Mario Epanya. The Mario Epanya who divided online opinion with his super-stylish series of fictional Vogue Africa covers, a concept that was turned down by Condé Nast giving rise to the debate of whether or not Africa needed Vogue. Fast forward seven years and the Cameroonian-born photographer is once again setting the digital world alight this time with his debut book BEAUTIFUL: Portraits of Black Beauty. And what a treat it is.

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