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Art Multiplied at Open Design Festival

Artworks made in the multiple are at the centre of three inter-related events at Open Design Cape Town, hosted by EDITIONS Cape Town at Cape Town City Hall. To kick off Open Design on Thursday 13 August, Katherine Bull and Warren Editions performed,​ Lessons in Transformation The Speech. This site-specific performance was dedicated to the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s first public speech, made on the veranda of City Hall on 11 February 1990 – the day of his release from prison.


Bull interprets by means of engraving onto perspex the projecting moving image of Mandela’s speech. The artist distills the moving image into the four process colours – yellow, magenta, cyan and black. These become the matrices for a colour combination print. Printing took place by Warren Editions while Bull engraved the matrices, bringing together a partnership of mark-making and the impression of these marks in ink on substrate. The performance spread out in two rooms – one dedicated to a satellite studio space for Warren Editions. The imprint of the matrices over one another blends the four process colours into a full chroma of the moving image interpreted by Bull.


Occurring alongside, the exhibition HOST is organised by EDITIONS Cape Town and runs throughout Open Design, the 12-day citywide event of talks, workshops, tours and interactive experiences that explore how design and innovation can be used to create a more sustainable future, taking place 12-23 August.  HOST will showcase a selection of artworks that are all part of an edition, by contemporary artists who actively seek to form editions as part of their oeuvre. These works are of various mediums, ranging from bronze and clay sculptures to photographs and prints. Some of the artists represented are William Kentridge, Brett Murray, Sanell Aggenbach, Christo Basson, Janet Manzviyi MbirimiSipho MpongoSue Williamson, Candice Breitz, Mikhael Subotsky, Nontsikelelo Veleko, Willem Boshoff and Athi-Patra Ruga.


Getting people to see and engage in design is a major aim of Open Design, and throughout the festival, visitors will be able to watch the next phase of the Katherine Bull print project. A SATELLITE of WARREN EDITIONS will be a dedicated collaboration between Bull and Warren Editions, a Cape Town printmaking studio, taking place at City Hall. The matrices of colour combination proofs, as created by Bull in her performance, will be editioned by printers working with a press in the satellite studio set up by Warren Editions.  These activities can be viewed from Friday 14 August onwards until the festival closes on 23 August.


EDITIONS Cape Town was formed by Gary Cotterell (editor of Ogojiii Magazine) and Zhané Warren (director & printer of Warren Editions) to promote editions and multiple art, from international and local print publishers, print studios, dealers, galleries and artists. Although grounded in the processes of traditional printmaking EDITIONS Cape Town will aim to display the synthesis and contemporary context of editions, which now encompasses a wide range of mediums from prints to photography to artist books and 3D multiples to video – a sophisticated cultural experience.
What sets EDITIONS Cape Town apart from other initiatives is the particular shared qualities of editions, this being that the realisation of an artwork occurs through the collaborative relationship of the publisher, maker and artist and emphasis on production. The production usually results in highly crafted and well-realised artworks, made available to collectors through editions


Open Design is open to everyone, whether they are new to design or already see design as critical to designing our future world. While some events are ticketed, most events are free to attend. It is advisable to register for each event on the website or on Quicket to book seats as numbers are limited.  External event hosts can submit their own events on the Open Design website ( and apply to be included in the 2016 programme.


Official festival partners include the City of Cape Town and the V&A Waterfront. Other Open Design partners include the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the Danish Agency of Culture, Plascon and the Cape Craft and Design Institute.