A selection of the best of African limited edition design, courtesy of Southern Guild Gallery, will be showcased at the Christie’s Design Auction in London. This is the first time a comprehensive and meaningful collection from the continent has been available to purchase in London. The exhibition that opens on 31 October, and culminates in an auction on 3 November, offers an opportunity for international collectors to access African collectible design.
“This is the first time Southern Guild has shown a collection of such significance in collaboration with one of the most important auction houses in the world,” says Trevyn McGowan, co-founder of Southern Guild with her husband Julian.
“The collaboration is a unique moment for us, but it’s also the first time our British and international audience can access the products from our ground-breaking African designers in London,” she says.
Christie’s is one of the world’s largest auction houses, with a presence in 32 countries. In 2014, it reported record sales of 5.1 billion pounds ($7.7 billion). According to the auction house, the collaboration with Southern Guild signifies its clients’ heightened interest in African design.
“Southern Guild’s commitment to developing greater recognition for African design, combined with the innovation and skill of the designers they represent, resonates with those of our clients who are looking for a fresh and striking language of interior design,” says Jeremy Morrison, Senior Director of Design at Christie’s London.
“I am delighted to be working on this project with Trevyn and Julian to bring a microcosm of the design scene in Africa to the international auction market. Southern Guild’s presence at the major design fairs in Miami and Basel has added enormous zest and energy to those shows,” he says.
Southern Guild and Christie’s worked collaboratively on the curation process. The exhibition features 14 exceptional works form 12 South African designers including Andile Dyalvane, Astrid Dahl, Beth Diane Armstrong, David Krynauw, Dokter and Misses, Dylan Lewis, Gregor Jenkin, Ian Garrett, John Vogel, Meyer von Wielligh, and Topple – a collaboration between John Murray and Paco Pakdoust.
Seemo, a collaborative piece from Porky Hefer and Peter Mabeo will also be showcased, on the heels of Hefer’s sell-out showing at the Grains of Paradise exhibition held at New York City’s R & Company gallery in March. Hefer will open his first solo show at Southern Guild’s Cape Town gallery in November.
Southern Guild’s global momentum has been building since its first international exhibition in 2011. This year alone, the gallery has organised GUILD, Africa’s only international design fair, attended Design Days Dubai and Design Miami/Basel, and collaborated on the Grains of Paradise exhibition. In September, the McGowans were invited to Melbourne, Australia to present keynotes at the ‘Parallels – Journeys into Contemporary Making’ symposium at the National Gallery of Victoria. In December, Southern Guild returns to Design Miami for its third consecutive year.
“We’ve had a phenomenal response at Design Miami, with an almost sell-out show last year, that we’re now lauded as one of the must-see galleries at the fair,” says McGowan. “Such a reception cements South Africa’s place amid the best in the world.”