PICTURE IT

The latest offerings at the 100% Design South Africa exhibition promises to delight art and fashion lovers, with the debut of the innovative 'Picture Africa' project this year

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South African designers have over the years produced a dazzling myriad of designs and creative works related to textiles and materials. This year the latest and most striking of what South African design has on offer will be showcasing at 100% Design South Africa.

Taking place from 5 to 9 August at the Gallagher Convention Centre alongside Decorex Joburg, the event will showcase the finest of South African and international design. Visitors can expect to see exciting new work and ranges from a stellar exhibitor list of top local and global brands, from classic and contemporary furniture to ceramics, textiles and more—all of which set the style pace for the year to come.

Now in its third annual rendition, the much acclaimed 100% Design South Africa is the country’s only international and local design show. The superbly curated feature displays a standout element of the show and the outstanding quality of the exhibition stands combine to attract design trade professionals and members of the public alike.

Visitors to the show will be greeted with an astounding array of hues in the form of the main entrance feature, known as 100% Colour in association with Plascon. This year’s 100% Colour looks to the four wind directions of Africa to inform a compass of colour.

'Picture Africa': a progressive, vibrant, and even riotous display of African creativity that joyously outlines the vital interrelation of photography and textiles on our continent, will also be exhibiting. It’s a forward-thinking exhibition that not only focuses on how Africa’s fabulous fabrics and photos inform a singular and globally celebrated visual identity; but also, how we are forging ahead to form the look of the future.

Curated by the influential Cathy O’Clery of Platform Creative Agency, 'Picture Africa' is a significant exhibition that boldly celebrates the relationship between photography, textiles and fashion as seen through a pan-African lens. While the show features photography from the continent’s finest image-makers alongside textile designs from designers and manufacturers associated with the African continent, the wealth of contributors also extends to bloggers, image-makers, artisans and fashion leaders. Expect a dazzling amalgamation of creative thought!

“Picture Africa” will include work by leading African photographers such as Phyllis Galembo, Thandiwe Muriu and Ed Suter. Top South African fashionistas like Trevor Stuurman, Laduma Nxgoloko and Marianne Fassler will also feature, alongside Ghana’s Yevu. Innovative textile designers from all over Africa such as Aissata Namoko, Skinny laMinx, Design Team, Bead Design Studio and Boubacar Doumbia of Le Ndomo textile workshop will be brought to the fore.

What’s more, this kaleidoscopic exploration of contemporary African visual culture asks viewers to examine how two powerful media could merge to create a new aesthetic offering in the form of fresh textile designs. All-new, collaborative print patterns conceived by O’Clery will be on show and available to purchase. Many of these arresting new fabrics will adorn chairs from Southern Hospitality that all form part of the display.

When asked about her curatorial objectives, O’Clery states: "Picture Africa is intended to offer a point of stimulus and fresh inspiration. It is meant to spark conversations and creative thought—all of which helps set the pace for our industry and this then leads to the birth of new products. With “Picture Africa” our objective was not solely to reflect on the current state of African image-making, we also wanted to try and pre-empt its next wave. Because 100% Design South Africa is an interior design show, we have zoomed in on textiles—even though there is an overwhelming wealth of African ingenuity in all spheres and disciplines—because fabrics are relevant and engaging for our trade and accessible for the public, too.”

Visitors to 'Picture Africa' can expect a vibrant amalgamation of the joyous, clashing and colourful textiles of our colourful continent and the vibrant street and studio photography that encapsulates the spirit and energy of contemporary African life.

Furthermore, one of South Africa’s most successful design exports will also take centre stage as the Featured Design House for 2016. Dokter and Misses’s Afro-modern product and furniture designs will be on show in a dedicated exhibition space.

As will those of Tonic Design. This sophisticated studio of Slow Lounge fame is the designer choice for the annual hospitality interior display, 100% Hotel. Similarly, one of South Africa’s leading interior design firms, Inhouse Brand Architects, will present a concept design for the office of the future in the 100% Office space.

100 Beautiful Things, a show favourite, singles out 100 South African product designs. These beautiful products are carefully selected and then artfully displayed by 100% Design South Africa Programme Director, Cathy O’Clery. Emerging talent will also be brought to the fore in a dedicated pavilion, 100% Talent, which gives our future design luminaries a platform. 100% Café is the vibrant meet-and-eat gathering space at the heart of the show and will be decked out in style by Jacket Interiors.

As in previous years, 100% Design South Africa exercises its social conscience and supports the arts education of children at risk. 100% Upliftment features ceramics from Cape Town studio Art in The Forest, with the profits of works sold helping to fund clay workshops for children though the Light from Africa foundation.

Four all-new attractions will be presented in Joburg for the first time: 100% Concrete, 100% Supermarket, “Picture Africa” and Talking Textiles. 100% Concrete, partnered with the PPC Imaginarium, will demonstrate the use of concrete in interiors, as well as drive entries to the country’s richest art and design competition.

A welcome addition to the show boasts the country’s top décor and fashion accessories and jewellery—such as Pichulik.

The aisles of the brand new 100% Supermarket will burst with newly launched designer goods that can be purchased on the spot.

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