Rich extends his brand into furniture design, in partnership with Southern Guild
Words: Nadine Oosthuizen
One of Africa’s most prolific fashion designers Rich Mnisi, added another layer to his provocative design repertoire, when he launched his furniture design debut at Southern Guild’s Extra Ordinary group exhibition, on 14 February.
Rich’s furniture debut, consists of a chaise and a stool, and follows his latest fashion collection – titled Nwa-Mulamula, after his late great-grand mother which represents a guardian – showcased in Lagos last October, and stands as a physical representation of Nwa-Mulamula as the ever-present guardian, whose teachings live on through storytelling generation after generation.
“For me, the chaise, which takes the shape of Nwa-Mulamula’s (The Guardian) body in the form of a navy leather couch, represents her presence and long-lasting teachings, and the stool, in the shape of an eye with gold puddles, represents her tears, which were never in vain. Without her pain and her experiences I wouldn’t exist. I couldn’t be the person I am today,” Rich explained.
These specially commissioned pieces forms part of a group show of multidisciplinary artists, all in celebration of Southern Guild’s decade-long journey of pioneering collectible design in South Africa, and include ceramic artists Zizipho Poswa and Madoda Fani, sculptors Daniella Mooney and Stanislaw Trzebinski, plus newcomers such as 3D illustrator Ferdi B. Dick.
Speaking to Julian McGowan, co-founder of The Guild Group, he very excitedly added “You’ve never seen anything like these pieces before. The whole concept was to encourage the designers to work outside their comfort zone, providing mentorship and guidance along the way. They’re accomplished designers already – so we wanted them to think differently about themselves and their work.”
The result for each designer is a piece that springboards a new body of work.
“I’m very excited about the exhibition, and the opportunity to have had this platform which enabled me to be free, and expand my vision into a whole new and different reality,” said Rich.
The exhibition will run until April 16th, 2018 after which some of the pieces will travel to be showcased internationally.