Southern Guild returns to Design Miami with a collection of visceral and immersive work that defines a bold new vernacular for collectible African design.
Following up on the sell-out success of Porky Hefer’s work at this year’s Design Miami/ Basel, Southern Guild’s booth will feature four of his cocoon-like seating environments handcrafted from leather and woven grass. Suspended from the ceiling, wall mounted and floor based, the works mimic forms found in nature to transport audiences to a childlike state, awake to instinct and immediate perception.
Hefer’s works have become an intriguing feature on the global design circuit. His human-scale nests and living pods are both fantasy world and functional furniture – beautifully crafted, they evoke innocence and wild abandon. Their apparent playfulness belies the depth of thinking inherent in the work. Recurring themes are the loss of instinct, humanity’s preoccupation with received wisdom, and the lessons implicit in the natural world. Hefer has had numerous solo presentations of his work, including at R & Company, New York, the inaugural London Design Biennale, and Design Miami/Basel 2018, where Southern Guild and SFA Advisory co-presented his acclaimed project Endangered to benefit the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
At Design Miami, Southern Guild will also launch a number of specially commissioned new works in bronze. These include a biomorphic table by Kenyan-born sculptor Stanislaw Trzebinski, titled Extra Terrestrial; a pair of zoomorphic seats by rising star Atang Tshikare; Xandre Kriel’s reductive Vos Altar table, featuring folded-steel legs and a softly textured bronze slab; and a near-abstract, monolithic console by Dylan Lewis, known internationally for his bronze sculpture depicting African wildlife.
“Our artists have a deep connectivity to their chosen materials and the natural world that surrounds them in Africa. Each has a distinctly unique viewpoint, conveyed through the works and the stories they tell,” said Julian McGowan, co-founder of Southern Guild.
This is the sixth year that Southern Guild has exhibited at Design Miami. The gallery has spearheaded the collectible design category in Africa, propelling artists and designers to make spirited, challenging, and complex work. A decade old this year, its rigorous programme has shaped global perceptions of African design, exploring culture, heritage and narrative, and forging a unique vernacular in the marketplace.
Southern Guild became the first African gallery to present at Design Miami in 2011, and in 2015 it was the first to be featured at Christie’s London’s annual design auction. Works from the gallery’s collection have been included in Making Africa, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (2015); Beauty: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, New York (2016); and the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. The Southern Guild gallery is based in Cape Town’s Silo District, adjacent to the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA).
Jennifer Roberts, chief executive officer of Design Miami/, said the fair organisers were particularly excited about Southern Guild’s involvement this year: “Following on from one of the most successful exhibitions in Basel, we are thrilled Southern Guild can join us for a sixth year in Miami Beach showcasing some of South Africa’s most interesting and innovative designers on a global stage.”
Visit Southern Guild at Booth G22 at Design Miami 2018.
About Design Miami/
Design Miami/ is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators, and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, Florida, each December and Basel, Switzerland, each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing, and creating collectible design.
Design Miami/ is more than a marketplace for design, where the world’s top galleries gather to present museum-quality exhibitions of twentieth and twenty-first century furniture, lighting, and objets d’art. Each show balances exclusive commercial opportunities with progressive cultural programming, creating exciting collaborations with designers and design institutions, panels and lectures with luminaries from the worlds of design, architecture, art, and fashion, and unique commissions from the world’s top emerging and established designers and architects.
By continuously expanding and enriching its program, Design Miami/ seeks to not only satisfy the demand for a high-end design fair, but also to broaden awareness of modern and contemporary design, fuel the market for collectible design, and provide an exciting yet accessible destination for collectors and enthusiasts alike.