A Case for Baskets

100 Beautiful Baskets Exhibition – above the H&M store in the V&A Waterfront 10am – 7pm.
“The Waterfront is bringing the magic of African craft to the world.” This is true of the vibey Watershed market, and certainly in the extensive collaborations that form the Joy from Africa theme that has exploded into the vaulted walkways of the Waterfront mall this summer. Platform Creative has brought so many artists together in curating the decorations and monumental installations that have been able to distract from the tourist-scarce festive season.

The anchor exhibition is a meticulously researched survey of traditional and contemporary woven baskets and their geographic and social contexts. All work is from the continent – Rwanda, Zambia, Morocco, Madagascar, Niger, Ghana – it is like the Cup of Nations for designers!

After initially missing its location in the old cinema space (above H&M), I had to return several times to take in all the countries, styles and materials. The majority of the baskets are from natural grasses, but there are innovative recycled packaging, telephone-wire and textiles included in these handmade wonders.
“Behind every basket is a story…”, a fact complemented by the presence of actual makers in the space, plying their trade, and happy to beguile the fans with demonstrations and tales from their experience. Master weaver, Angeline Masuku from KwaZulu-Natal, says it took three weeks (200 hours) to weave her Ukhamba Podium basket. This is one show I was happy to find a shop to exit through, and there are many souvenirs and utilitarian artworks to take home or to gift a loved one.

The show extends out into the atria and are echoed in the Travelling Totems dotted all around the walkways. A real bonus to this free exhibition is that its run has been extended until the end of February, so don’t be a basket-case, get out and add it to your itinerary.
Check out the teaser on Youtube here: https://youtu.be/-eh8syLoV-Q