Vibrant, progressive and riotous “Picture Africa” display was held last year in Johannesburg (2016), which showcased African creativity and accentuated the interrelation between the textiles of the continent pared with photography.
It is a forward-thinking exhibition that showcases fabulous African textiles through photos, as means of cultural expression, however, the heart of the event is on the creativity of the designers – forging of new design directions. The event was held in South Africa from the 5th to the 10th of August, at Gallagher Convention Centre. As mentioned before, this significant art exhibition is a reflection of the relationship between the textiles, fashion, and photography, all captured through a pan-African lens.
Therefore, the display features photography of Africa’s finest image makers, plus textile designs from both designers and manufacturers. However, it goes beyond that, as many bloggers, artisans, image-makers and fashion leaders also join the group. It is basically an explosion of creativity from many different sectors, all joining in for the same fascination.
In addition, there are many big names attending, such as: Thandiwe Muriu, Phyllis Galembo, Hassan Hajjaj and Ed Suter – all being leading photographers in Africa. However, the list continues with the top fashionistas and innovative textile designers that were attending the “Picture Africa” as well, such as: Laduma Nxgoloko, Marianne Fassler, Skinny IaMinx and Bead Design Studio – to name a few.
The event was curated by the influential Cathy O’Clery, who has collaboratively created all-new patterns and textile designs, which were printed by the help of Von B Trading (Pty) Ltd – digital printing experts. When O’Clery was asked about her objectives for the event, she said: “Picture Africa” is intended to offer a point of stimulus and fresh inspiration. It is meant to spark conversations and creative thought – all of which help set the pace for our industry which then leads to the birth of new products.”
The exhibition proved to be successful, which has given the opportunity to start a series of presentations called “Talking Textiles”. This talk programme promises visitors to expect presentations from a wide range of designers and design brands, who will be discussing new trends, showcasing new products and announcing industry’s innovations.