In the midst of the COVID-19 emergency, the world has entered a state of suspended animation. Those of us who have been able to retreat to our homes are the lucky ones. In South Africa’s townships, the lack of basic housing, overcrowding, limited access to running water and unemployment imperils an already vulnerable population even further. There is no question that we need to do everything we can to help.
This is a critical time for our artists, too, whose voices need to be heard. Southern Guild was born from a desire to share their narratives and distinctive modes of storytelling. Each has something important to say about the state of our world today, seen through the prism of their own culture and experience. They speak of resilience and restitution, heritage and reinvention, gratitude and wonder.
With our gallery temporarily closed, we have curated an online exhibition of works that speak to the current crisis. They include objects evoking romanticism and tenderness, such as Madoda Fani’s Zintle (Beautiful Girl) and Andile Dyalvane’s The Swan Moon Jar. There are works that speak of ingenuity and rebuilding, making creative re-use of unusual materials such as conveyor-belt rubber (Xandre Kriel’s Techno Loafer) and bricks (Dokter and Misses’ Skip Lights). And our ever-present earth is an underlying current in so many works – David Reade’s Namib Landscape bowl and Conrad Hicks’ Copper Landscape Pair I, to name just two.
Thirty percent of the sales price from works sold for the duration of this exhibition (until 9 May) will go towards assisting those most in need of food, medical supplies, and support services – while nurturing the artistic talent that makes South Africa so unique. We have partnered with local non-profit organisation Afrika Tikkun, which has provided education, health and social services to young people and their families through centres of excellence in South African townships for the past 26 years.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Afrika Tikkun has scaled up supplies of food and essentials to vulnerable families in the Gauteng townships of Alexandra, Diepsloot, Braamfontein, and Orange Farm, as well as Mfuleni in the Western Cape. Drawing on decades of experience in distributing goods to communities during a time of crisis, it is collaborating with other non-profit organisations and community-based structures to ensure its impact is felt as widely as possible. Read more about how Afrika Tikkun is making a difference here.
As an added incentive to support this initiative, a discount has been applied for all items on the exhibition (until 9 May).
Handwoven wool, synthetic wool, organic yarn, coated steel frame
190 x 80 x 65 cm
Edition of 8 in unique in series
Hand blown glass
34 x 34 x 40 cm