The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town has come up with an innovative virtual project to bring a little beauty to the country at a time when many are feeling low.
100 Beautiful Things Exhibition
The project, already under way and titled ‘100 Beautiful Things’, is a showcase of 100 beautiful, creative or innovative items to be shared over 100 days until August.
The purpose is to support and showcase small creative businesses, projects and enterprises struggling most under the burden of lockdown and the Covid-19 crisis.
The project, in partnership with Platform Creative Agency, celebrates the creativity and ingenuity of the makers behind some of SA’s most inspiring projects, products, ideas and experiences.
Hope in a time of uncertainty
“We launched this good-news initiative to inspire positivity, as well as to support and elevate some of the incredible enterprises and creative projects in our country, all of whom strengthen SA society and leave a better world for all,” says V&A Waterfront CEO David Green.
“At tough times like these we believe that now, more than ever, there is a real need to support local businesses and enterprises, and the people behind them, as much as we can.”
“Creative, retail and lifestyle businesses have been particularly hard hit, but with help and support they are exactly the companies that will have the ability to help rebuild our society.”David Green
Designed with a difference
The ‘100 Beautiful Things’ picked so far were all designed with either compassion, sustainability, future-thinking or local essence at their core. Others were simply beautiful.
“We hope that by showcasing these enterprises and the creative abilities of the people behind them, we can in some way lift people’s spirits and contribute to helping the people behind the designs and ideas sustain themselves through the difficult times arising from the global pandemic,” Green says.
Online Showcase culminating in an Exhibition
The “100 Beautiful Things” are being shown over 100 days, one a day, on the V&A Waterfront’s digital platforms, as well as online.
The stories of the people behind them are also shared.
The “100 Beautiful Things” cover five areas – designing with compassion, sustainable design, future thinking, SA essence and “simply beautiful” – and range from fashion and furniture pieces to social and environmental projects, food initiatives, medical and technological innovation, virtual platforms and travel or entertainment experiences.
The public may also submit their favourites from SA that they feel deserve to be celebrated via the website.
Submissions must have a creative element and fit into one of the five themes. It can be something new, adapted to aid in the Covid-19 situation, or something that’s been around longer, and must have been running or been put into production in the last three years.
The initiative will evolve into a physical exhibition to be held at the V&A Waterfront later in 2020.
Platform Creative Agency creative director Cathy O’Clery, curator of “100 Beautiful Things”, says SA creativity is boundless and comes in many forms.
“It finds its way into everything from functional or decorative products to social change, sustainable impact and visual communication,” O’Clery says.
The first eight of the 100 Beautiful Things:
Pelebox: a digital dispensing system for chronic medication allowing patients to access medication in under a minute, using simple technology.
Colour Extravaganza Chandeliers by Our Workshop: pretty chandeliers made from bottles gathered from waste sites around Cape Town.
Futurepart: a thinktank for research and experimental design, exploring the interaction between thinking and doing.
The Hlabisa Bench by Thabisa Mjo: a blend of cross-cultural storytelling, traditional skills and technology, this bench invites people (in times of non-social distancing) to sit together for a chat.
Botanical Sculptures by Nic Bladen: a celebration of SA’s indigenous Protea family through metal-work.
Botha’s Halte Primary School: a ground-breaking new government school providing a secure, uplifting and aesthetically appealing facility to educate rural children in new ways.
Produce Displays at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market: displays of harvested produce from more than 35 small-scale ethical and organic farmers.
Sealand: old billboards, tents and advertising banners upcycled into hand-crafted bags designed to last a lifetime.