Design: ‘Basket Case’ A showcase of Contemporary Zimbabwean Basketry
The Basket Case Exhibition [Zimbabwe]
[Image credit: BBC]
I came across a photo-editorial on BBC about an exhibition called ‘The Basket Case’, currently being held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare. The National Gallery is a beautiful space and a place I know well having spent many a time there perusing the latest exhibits and completing assignments. I am glad to see that it is still putting on inspiring exhibits. ‘The Basket Case’ exhibition is all about connecting the past and the present, traditional with contemporary and is based on a project by interior accessories designer, Heath Nash and the traditional basket weavers based in Binga and Northern Zimbabwe who are mainly women.
This is a project about preserving skills that are normally handed down from generation and capturing a new audience of buyers and collectors. Basket weaving is an amazing skill found throughout many regions in Africa and I am always amazed by the diversity of intricate patterns formed, meaning no two are ever alike and how skillful hands weave simple strands of grass into strong, sturdy and functional objects that over time have stored food and even water.
[Image credits: BBC]
Zimbabwean baskets have always been popular, not only with visiting tourists but are sold in stores globally and also used in local homes in day-to-day life. This project has come at a time when a decline in tourists to the country has meant a decline in production, which in turn has meant a danger of patterns and skills not being passed on to the next generation. Heath Nash, who resides in South Africa has brought his unique and quirky style, seen in the products below, to some of the designs resulting in a truly inspiring partnership. Visit Heath Nash’s blog to read more about the project process.
[Image credits: Heath Nash]
I have had my Zimbabwean baskets hanging against my living-room wall for many years now and seeing this editorial has made me pause and reflect, scrutinising them and appreciating them even more.
Hopefully the exhibition will get to travel globally and let more people appreciate the skill and beauty on display.
Additional Details:To view BBC’S photo-editorial: www.bbc.co.uk
To read more about basket weavers workshop initiatives: www.thenewbasketworkshop.org.za
To read more about Heath Nash’s products visit: www.heathnash.com
Buy baskets from stockists such as: www.basketsfromafrica.com whose prices range from USD$16-USD$2000