In September, we enter our second year as the National Arts Council’s Craft Flagship in Limpopo. During year two, more focus will be on marketing. Madi a Thavha is busy building a showroom in Parkhurst where Limpopo artists can exhibit and we are currently identifying places and events in Joburg and other big cities where Limpopo artists and crafters can get exposure or sell their work.
Three of us made the National Craft Award shortlist
The culmination of year 1 was helping 32 Limpopo artists to enter the Innibos National Craft Awards. Although none of them won, 3 of our Limpopo artists made the shortlist of 50 – Lucky Makamu with one of his wooden benches and metal inlays, Kheila Ngobeni with a traditional Tsonga beaded wall panel and woodcarver Justice Mugwena with his flat wooden wall panel sculpture.
The National Craft Awards of the 10th Innibos Art Festival in Mbombela, Mpumalanga drew 800 entries from all over South Africa. The winner of the platinum prize was Thami Kiti for his carved, wooden walking sticks. The gold prize went to Vinah Ndwandwe for her man-sized basket and silver went to Elizabeth Msiza for her beaded blanket.
Craft important form of artistic expression
“The purpose of the awards is to raise awareness of craft, an important form of expression sometimes overlooked due to crafters not having access to the most appropriate channels. Supporting young talent is also an important factor, as is providing a platform to develop the appropriate skills and knowledge relevant to crafters,” says John Anthony, curator of the event.