New gallery space in Johannesburg



Art dealers Justin Rhodes and Ashleigh McLean and Southern Guild’s Trevyn and Julian McGowan have launched their dynamic new space in Rosebank’s Keyes Art Mile precinct.  The 300-square-metre contemporary exhibition space, in the StudioMAS designed Trumpet building, now open, heralds an intriguing partnership between leading contemporary art gallery WHATIFTHEWORLD, and Southern Guild, both firmly established in Cape Town. The new space will exhibit an innovative programme for the expansive gallery, which can be divided for focused presentations and interdisciplinary experimentations. Each gallery will maintain its distinct individual identity, while simultaneously provoking a new exchange between artists and designers and introducing a new creative dialogue. ‘We each have strong, unique viewpoints and a desire to change the status quo,’ Trevyn says of the two galleries, ‘this opportunity to combine our voices, to explore the intersection of art and design, promises results greater than the sum of our parts.’


There will be an independent calendar of programming, but for their inaugural show, the two galleries have purposefully curated a synergetic collection of work, a journey through tableaus that relate and reflect, and that present a strong narrative of their shared methodology – a collection that couldn’t exist anywhere else. The opening show presents work by Nigerian photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo, Zimbawean sculptor Moffat Takadiwa and visual artist Athi-Patra Ruga alongside limited-edition furniture by leading African designers such as Cheick Diallo, Hamed Ouattara and the late Babacar Niang as well as South African heroes Gregor Jenkin, Porky Hefer and Dokter and Misses.



19 Keyes Avenue, Trumpet, Keyes Art Mile, Rosebank, Johannesburg


Image: Athi-Patra Ruga (tapestry), Cheick Diallo (chair), Jesse Ede (table), photographed by Adriaan Louw

Southern Guild and Porky Hefer represent SA at the inaugural London Design Biennale




Southern Guild, together with iconic designer Porky Hefer, will once again take to the world’s stage when they represent South Africa at the inaugural London Design Biennale being presented at Somerset House this September.  Southern Guild has collaborated with Porky Hefer to showcase his suspended animal-cocoon environments for this representation of South African design – a fitting portrayal of the Biennale’s 2016 theme: Utopia by Design, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas Moore’s book, Utopia.  Hefer’s work, all crafted by hand at Woodheads leather merchants in Cape Town, is a fantasyscape consisting of five animals: M.Heloise (manta ray), Crocodylus Eugenie (crocodile), Lolita Blackfish (lover whale), Piranha 1: Nerina (piranha) and Panthera leo (lion). Panthera leo is the designer’s self-portrait, and the only animal displaying sheepskin, rather than leather, on the outside. ‘He’s like a massive teddy bear,’ Hefer says of the first male he has created, adding to his Monstera Deliciosa, Volume I series, the title of his solo show at Southern Guild earlier this year.



Having titled this installation Otium and Acedia, Hefer explains that otium, the Latin term for leisure time, talks to one stepping away from daily systems and mechanisims to engage in more artistic and enlightening activities that can enrich and evolve one’s mind and thinking. Acedia, a state of listlessness (not to be confused with the negative state of sloth or depression), references withdrawing from normal life and the decreasing physiological activity in an animal, usually by a reduced body temperature and metabolic rate. This can be done annually through hibernation, or on a daily basis, and is used to conserve energy for survival.


‘I like the idea of a human hibernating in an animal,’ Hefer reflects.


The London Design Biennale will run from 7 September – 27 September at Somerset House, London.


Image: Panthera leo by Justin Patrick.


A New Show: A New Wave


A New Wave_credit Steve Marais_small

Following the gallery’s call for submissions for new work by designers under the age of 40, Southern Guild received over 75 applications for A New Wave. Almost 40 designers were shortlisted, after which they produced their once-off or limited-edition pieces with the guidance of Southern Guid founders, Trevyn and Julian McGowan. The exhibition is a grand showcase for the next generation of South African collectible design. ‘The quality of the work is exceptional and we are extremely excited about this new collection for the gallery,’ says Julian. Pieces produced for A New Wave include furniture, lighting, ceramics, decorative art and jewellery and demonstrate a true collaboration between Southern Guild and young designers, as the gallery continuously aims to foster the growth of design in the country.


A New Wave will run from 12 August – 23 September 2016. Please note that the show will be closed on 23rd & 24th August 2016.


Image credit: Steve Marais