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Monday, June 27, 2011


Meeting the Makers: Contemporary craft in KZN is a ground-breaking exhibition opening at the Tatham Art Gallery in July which will unite a broad diversity of contemporary craft producers in KwaZulu-Natal.

From the beautifully rendered work of crafters such as Bonginkosi Tshabalala and Humphrey Modibedi to commercially-produced products from internationally acclaimed talents Egg Design and Richard Stretton, Meeting the Makers promises a cross-section of high quality, sustainable objects that bridge the divide between traditional craft and so-called ‘high art’.

Made possible by funding from the National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC), the Tatham Art Gallery staff has spent the past few months traversing the province in search of crafters with a unique contemporary vision. All the staff members who went on field trips were required to keep diaries, the stories from which are to be included in a book, which is being published by the Gallery. As Director of the Tatham, Brendan Bell, states: “It is about objects, yes, but it is more about the people who make those objects”

The collection ranges from traditional Zulu ceramics to contemporary lighting designs, and includes a bespoke collection of basketry, embroidery, wood turning, jewellery and wire work. There is an impressive mix of traditional craft-making and cutting edge design, with over 150 pieces produced by nearly 100 crafters. Embroidery produced by local crafters from the Ingwavuma region sits alongside a high-tech lamp by urban product designers, Egg Designs. Other work on display include turned bowls by Andrew Early, furniture from Koop Design, paper flowers from the award-winning Shaw Sisters and phenomenal beadwork from members of the Hillcrest Aids Centre.

Meeting the Makers: Contemporary Craft in KZN opens at the Tatham Art Gallery (Pietermaritzburg) on July 28 at 18h00 and runs until September 18 at 17h00. The Tatham Art Gallery is situated opposite the Town Hall in Chief Albert Luthuli Street, Pietermaritzburg. More information on 033 392 2801.