The prestigious Loerie Awards take place this week drawing attention to Durban’s creative scene. In anticipation of one of the most esteemed creative events on the SA calendar, we’ve assembled a list of innovative Durbanites who are making waves in the industry, and the creative precincts transforming the city. From up-and-coming to well established designers, artists, collectives, agencies, places and annual events, this is who is on our radar making Durban exciting now. Who’s on yours?
Mandisa is one of the province’s rising photographers, whose passion is capturing Kwa-Zulua Natal landscapes. Shot in her trademark black and white style, she tries to marry the discrepancy between the urban and rural in an attempt to navigate her own contrasting experiences of these spaces. Stay updated with her work and documentaries here.
Senior designer at Modern Museum by day and brazen artist by night, Skullboy is best known for his ‘Basquiat’ inspired illustration style and monochromatic colour palette. His latest body of work, ‘Yung-Metamoderni$m’, was exhibited at the Space Between Gallery in Cape Town and was the culmination of a month’s long residency at the gallery’s studio. Often drawing on themes of religion, sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, his work evokes humour and pity to unmask gritty social and political truths. He is currently represented by Baan + Burne in New York, Kalashnikovv in Joburg and the Space Between in the Mother City. Follow him on Twitter.
For a small design studio, The Curators, the brainchild of designers Kim Longhurst and Scott Robertson, offers a large array of creative services ranging from corporate identities to brand crafting and trend forecasting. Their impeccable attention to detail and clean-cut style is neat, yet always captures the essence of the brand. They believe in “making beautiful things with their bare hands”. For a full viewing of their identity portfolio check out Behance.
Durban International Film Festival & Wavescape
The Durban Internatinal Film Fetsival (DIFF) is home to Africa’s biggest ten day film festival which spotlights sublime feature, documentary and short films from around the world. This also includes The Wavescape Surf Film Festival, which has been in operation for 9 years and screens the best works about surf culture. There are tonnes of workshops, seminars and key note addresses which makes this a key event for any film aficionado and amateur cinema lover.
Clarisse Design | Suzanne and Xavier Clarisse
Xavier is a furniture designer and artist with a background in sculpture and product design. He has created installations and been part of numerous international site-specific works. Clarisse Design is about crafting personal pieces with a classic feel that supersedes trends. This year they turned heads at the Design Indaba with their geometric and quirky light designs made in collaboration with Creative Collab Durban. Their studio manufactures a huge selection furniture and interior accessories that cater to both bespoke and commercial tastes.
Michael van Heerden
Designer and illustrator Michael van Heerden has an obsession with woodwork. He honed his craft at the Durban University of Technology and owns a freelance design studio creating installations, store signage and decor. The tactile nature of wood and it’s organic formation inspires Michael to make custom made industrial designs and furniture.
Photographer Matt Kay has numerous accolades which include Winner of the 2011 CIT:Y award for photography, recipient of the Ithuba Arts Fund as well as the 2014 recipient of the Tierney Fellowship where he was mentored by veteran photographer, David Goldblatt, and produced a body of work called The Front that focusses on the Durban beachfront. Currently, he divides his time between the Market Photo Workshop, where he teaches in Johannesburg, and Durban, which inspires much of his photographic pursuits. He is inspired by memory and the rich stories we have to offer. View his website.
Scholars & Gentlemen | Greg Lomas and Colwyn Thomas
Founded by Greg Lomas and Colwyn Thomas, Scholars & Gentlemen is a production house that creates narrative content with compelling social and environmental concerns. Their most recent documentary, To Skin a Cat, exposed the decline of leopards due to an increased cultural demand for their fur.
Individually as a graphic designer and photographer, Greg enjoys shooting on his Hasselblad and sharing African stories. He has chronicled the quest for sustainable development in Durban, Zef culture, and the lives of people in Ethiopia and Tanzania.
Colwyn is an illustrator who works in digital media, coffee and pencil. Inspired by Japanese woodcuts, Disney and Tin-Tin comics, his creations are fluid, richly coloured and enigmatic. Check out his portfolio here.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mention of Garth Walker , the father of zine Ijusi and design studio Mister Walker. His interest lies in interrogating the African identity and many of his personal projects consistently explore this theme. With over 38 year of industry experience, Garth’s work has won over a 100 awards, been published in over 80 magazines, and is represented in collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Smithsonian and Victoria & Alfred Museum.
Victoria Verbaan & the Smoking Daxi
Victoria Verbaan & the Smoking Daxi make elegant silk scarves, evocative illustrations, limited edition umbrellas and whimsical wallpapers.With a signature style of loose, watery brushstrokes and vivid colours, Victoria has garnered an impressive portfolio of commissioned work for magazines, advertising agencies and has recently branched into ceramics.
The I Heart Market
The I Heart Market takes place once a month at the Moses Mabhida Stadium and is a treat for foodies and local design fans. What started out as small venture with 12 stores has grown to become a Durban favouite showcasing bespoke jewellery, art, decor and vintage treasures. Former chef turned entrepreneur, Anna Savage, was driven to bring together both young and old craftsmen and provide them with the opportunity to sell their local goods and ignite the Durban Creative scene. Don’t miss the special edition I Heart Loeries Market taking place this Sunday. Find venue details here.
Image from Get it Online.
Image from Get it Online.
Savior Brand Co. | Max Pienaar & Laurie Holmes
Bored of mass-produced products, Max Pienaar and Laurie Holmes started Savior Brand Co. to create fine leather accessories in contrast to their generic, synthetic counterparts found in retail stores. Their products are locally made and a huge amount of their profit is used to upskill young orphans in the leather trading process. The combination of good design and kind hearts makes all the difference. And, if that isn’t impressive enough, they also supply artisanal Savior Coffee Co. at their shop, so can enjoy a cuppa while perusing their beautiful accessories. Follow them on Facebook.
Tempracha | Sanele Cele
Sanele Cele is a fashion designer whose collections under clothing label Tempracha make possessing a sense of style appear effortless. Seeming casual, they imbue a sense of sophistication hinted at by off-beat prints and can easily be worn by the man on the street. The label’s name was inspired by the Durban’s catatonic weather and is in the heat of making seriously stylish street couture. See more looks on Twitter and Facebook.
Egg Designs | Greg & Roche’ Dry
Greg and Roche’ Dry have a knack for specialised design encompassing interiors, furniture and lighting design. Established in 1996, Egg Designs has built a reputation for designing with passion, playfulness and finesse and in 2011 opened a flagship store in Joburg. All their furnishings and lighting is made in South Africa and their size, material and design can be customised to suite each project’s needs. Their true talent as a design house is their ability to deliver a range of titillating moods varying from the minimal to eclectic, sombre to quirky and serene to lively.
From Egg Design’s Signature collection.
Modern Museum | Niel Roake
Modern Museum was founded by Niel Roake, who believes in the necessity of building a brand and curating experiences. The creative agency has serviced brands such as Tsonga, Kangol Cosmetics and The Space to name a few, and provides the creative direction for the food supplement Food Weekly in the Sunday Times. Their strong focus on aesthetic is paramount, at the forefront of their existence, and can be experienced at their award-winning sister brands such as the boutique hotel, The Concierge, and restaurant, Freedom Café.
Interpret Durban is an annual platform to celebrate Durban, by Durban and for Durban. It was first launched back in 2010 by Street Scene Tours. The event has since grown from an independent creation into a public celebration supported by both civic and private groups. The event calls for local artists across disciplines to interpret their city and culminates in an extravaganza of art, music and culture.
All photos by Marcello Maffeis
Croatian born illustrator and designer Alexander Bielovich believes ‘less is more’ and is committed to his craft. He’s old-school and all his designs are first drawn on paper before being digitized in an effort to ensure that the character of the original drawing is maintained. Check out his other work here.
8 Morrison Street
Jonathan Liebmann, the man, who was behind Propertuity’s Arts on Main project in the Maboneng Precinct, is regenerating Morisson Street located in the hub-bub of the Riverton precinct. It’s a community based initiative catering for passionate individuals who are energized by co-working spaces and foster the creative spirit of entrepreneurship. With the help of architects, designers and artists, this has become an awesome place to host food markets, music gigs and workshops but most importantly, to share ideas and collaborate with others in a vibrant setting.
Image from www.8ms.co.za
Image from www.8ms.co.za
Image from www.8ms.co.za
The Station Drive Precinct
Home to the Savior Coffee Co., The Foundry and Open Plan Studio, the Station Drive Precinct is another flourishing cultural hub, that like Morisson Street, is gaining momentum amongst creatives who thrive off the synergy of multidisciplinary working spaces. You can rent a studio, facilitate a meeting and collaborate with others over artisanal coffee.
Situated in Florida Road, Morning Side, Lola Malone is a quaint tattoo parlour whose creations centre around identity, nostalgia and being free spirited. They house 4 tattoo artists, each with their own speciality. Their resident artist, Nic Lewis, is passionate about combining artisry and ink to produce tattoos of a high quality.
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