Art and Design

The Creative Showcase by 10and5 - April 16

Alix-Rose Cowie

A weekly round-up of South Africa's creative community and projects.

The 'ABC's of Xhosa Names' is a collection of GIFs created by South African illustrator Thandiwe Tshabalala. (Supplied)

The eclectic, imaginary worlds of digital collage artist Karin Miller
A fascination with all things instinctively decorative helped Karin Miller decide on a career in art. After studying information design, she went on to work at a design firm and later enrolled in a fine art course. Soon she began to use it to explore the realm of collage – transforming disparate elements into imaginary worlds. Now an established digital collage artist, Karin Miller's work is characterised by a heterogeneous mix of historic iconography, pop reference and Eastern-esque patterns as she explores dinner table taboos with an ever-playful twist.  

  • Read the full story in this week's M&G Friday.

Yenza, a recognised World Design Capital 2014 project, celebrates everyday African innovation
Yenza sets out to broaden the context of South African design by showcasing innovative objects that are fashioned, mostly out of necessity, from items found in the homes of self-made South Africans. The Yenza team comprises Lucie de Moyencourt, Renee Rossouw, Kara Furter and Charl Edwards, who together visit the homes of South Africans living in townships to source simple, everyday design solutions. Often crafted from the most unlikely materials, these objects tell a unique story and expose the daily rituals of the homes in which they were found.  

Filmmaker Richard Finn Gregory meets The Boers at the End of the World
All it took was a three-and-a-half-minute teaser for a documentary called The Boers at the End of the World to capture the attention of thousands of people and re-ignite discussions about what it means to be South African. Currently in the production phase, the film by Richard Finn Gregory is about a community of Afrikaner descendants eking out a rural life in a remote corner of Patagonia, Argentina. This project has not only challenged Gregory's own sense of identity, but it has caused a national identity that at once seemed simple to him to reveal itself as much more nuanced and complex.

Fashion photography by the double act Elford x De la Forêt
The combined efforts of four-year-old photography duo Jesse-Leigh Elford and Juanel de la Forêt has resulted in work that is distinctly minimalist and elegant in its construction – and has graced the pages of international and local fashion publications. Currently, Elford takes the photographs and is mostly involved with the aspects of production, while De la Forêt is responsible for the majority of the research and post-production. As their roles have become more and more intertwined over the years, there is no telling how things might evolve for this dynamic pair.   

The beauty of isiXhosa names illustrated in GIFs by Thandiwe Tshabalala
The ABC's of Xhosa Names is a collection of GIFs created by South African illustrator Thandiwe Tshabalala. Reflecting on our past, Tshabalala notes that during apartheid, many African parents would give their children English names because they were easier to pronounce. After they regained their freedom, however, they began to give their children traditional names once more. Inspired by this, and reflecting the colours and patterns of her own culture, Tshabalala's series celebrates the names in her mother tongue of isiXhosa as well as the rich meanings they hold.

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