This year Madi a Thavha organised a full-size Venda Tsonga CraftArt exhibition which gives our artists more exposure and our guests a richer experience of Limpopo. Visitors will be able to see the unique works of 48 of the region’s best artists and master crafters here. Guests can meet artists in their own environments if they wish and experience the vibrant rural-hip lifestyles and landscapes of Limpopo at the same time.
Cultural and skills exchange inspire new products
Apart from our continuous support to the established Venda and Tsonga artists of the region we started to align participants of Madi a Thavha’s many other training and development programs with a CraftArt exhibition in mind. We ran a yearlong National Arts Council program with master crafters for instance and invited some of the talented handcrafters we discovered during facilitating another project funded by the Creating schools charitable trust, to participate in collaborative workshops.
This approach led to renewed inspiration for all. More collaboration and exchange of ideas and skills between artists and crafters in turn helped to develop new products and ranges for our exhibition. During the past year traditional beaders, rural childcare and sewing groups and master potters with excellent traditional firing skills rubbed shoulders with renowned woodcarvers, printers and art teachers during various training workshops and meetings at the lodge.
Rural hip flavor for traditional art forms
We discovered young new talent in the process too and experimented with new techniques, colour and texture combinations for traditional beading, jewellery, pottery, grass-weaving and traditional textile products. Northern Limpopo is one of the few regions in Southern Africa where people still proudly wear colourful and richly embroidered traditional clothes and beaded jewellery in everyday life. We picked patterns and designs painted on traditional homesteads as a general theme. Handmade recycled glass beads, indigenous seeds like Marula pips and Baobab pods also combine well in some of our new product ranges.
The Venda Tsonga CraftArt exhibition opened in May this year and will be running until the end of 2015. It includes paintings, prints and etches of the Thohoyandou Art Centre’s artists and many renowned woodcarvers of Limpopo as well.
How to see the exhibition and arrange more fun
Exhibition visiting hours is from 9h-17h00 and on prior notice for visitors not staying at the lodge. Route directions to the lodge, situated 10km west of Makhado/Louis Trichardt is on our website. Accommodation and meals can also be booked on prior notice and if you would like to do a village tour and meet artists at their own rural workshops, also please contact the lodge. A guided tour of the exhibition itself can be booked at the lodge as well. You can pay by Credit card, Master and Visa cards at the lodge but on rural tours it is better to take some cash.