For Extra Ordinary, Southern Guild invited a group of artists to go beyond the usual confines of their practice by experimenting with new ideas or materials, shifts in scale or other design disciplines. Over the past decade we have been in constant pursuit of originality as we’ve built the collectible design sector in South Africa, so it seemed natural to invite designers from outside our core stable for this particular show – the first in our 10th-anniversary year.
The artists were commissioned to produce new work especially for this exhibition –resulting in the launch of 36 new pieces of collectible design. Each piece is a springboard to the future that will seed new bodies of work and expand the possibilities for their makers. “They’re accomplished designers already – we wanted them to think differently about themselves and their work,” says Julian McGowan, co-founder of Southern Guild, who worked closely with many of the designers. Through varying degrees of experimentation, the work is at turns surprising, playful, otherworldly and mysterious. “You will not have seen anything like these pieces before,” adds Julian.
About the work on show:
Adam Hoets corrupts the pure geometry of a Willowlamp’s Mandala chandelier to create an otherworldly installation reaching down to the floor. Atang Tshikare begins a futuristic landscape with sculptural, tubular forms containing unconventional storage compartments. Chuma Maweni’s hand-thrown ceramic table and stools are a timeless evolution of his meditative vessels. Daniella Mooney’s symmetrical seating sculpture brings into focus the complexity and extraordinariness of openly facing another person. Jan and Liani Douglas of Douglas & Company have given new perspective to the spiral staircase and the wheelbarrow by paring down their forms and enhancing their materiality. Ferdi B. Dick overlaps the digital with the tangible to create character-driven bronze sculptures evoking a dystopian cartoon world. Heino Schmitt has engineered every detail of his table, from the oversized brass nuts that hold the wood in place to the custom tooling needed to make the piece. Phillip Hollander and Stephen Wilson, the designers behind Houtlander, have reinterpreted the traditional love seat, through computer numerical control, to turn your world upside down. Ida Elsje and Philippa Green’s magically suspended, asymmetrically cut diamond jewellery confounds tradition and transcends scale. Jesse Ede draws lunar inspiration as he exposes the complex tension between an industrial material and a manual fabrication. Belying his material, Madoda Fani sculpts a ceramic throne using the bold language of his signature hand-coiled vessels. Celebrated fashion designer Rich Mnisi makes his debut in collectible furniture with two sculptural pieces inspired by the memory of his grandmother. Accomplished sculptor Stanislaw Trzebinski crafts two pieces of monumental marble furniture incised with ethereal nature-inspired markings. Xavier Clarisse’s hand-carved lights form a futuristic cityscape while paying homage to labour-intensive craftsmanship. Inspired by the strength of Xhosa women, Zizipho Poswa’s totemic forms symbolise the daily ritual of fetching water.