Endangered: Exploring sustainability and art - with artist Porky Hefer at Design Miami/Basel 2018

Photo courtesy of Design Miami/

SFA Advisory and Southern Guild announced today that they will present a unique project by renowned South African artist Porky Hefer at Design Miami/Basel from 12-17 June 2018. 

The exhibition, commissioned by SFA Advisory to benefit the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, will showcase a series of seating pods depecting endangered species. The sculptures, which depict an orangutan, a polar bear, a sloth, a blue whale, and a great white shark, are made of eco-friendly and recycled materials. 

Courtesy of Southern Guild, photo by Antonia Steyn

Titled Endangered, the pods were produced using environmentally sustainable materials that have been extensively hand-worked by artisans in Cape Town. Hefer worked closely with textile artist Ronel Jordaan and craft collectives Heart Works and Mielie to translate his creatures into giant, tactile sculptures whose surfaces have been crocheted, felted, stitched and embroidered with unique embellishments. 

Courtesy of Southern Guild, photo by Antonia Steyn

The works will be available for sale through Southern Guild and SFA Advisory, with 25% of the sales proceeds supporting LDF’s wildlife conservation programs. 

“Visitors to Design Miami/Basel will be invited to sit in, on, and around these friendly sculptural creatures igniting a sense of empathy as the stories of the real animals’ hardships and the importance of their survival to our own lives is recounted through interaction, video, and text,” says Lisa Schiff, Founder and Principal of SFA Advisory. 

Courtesy of Southern Guild, photo by Antonia Steyn

Courtesy of Southern Guild, photo by Antonia Steyn

“It’s the future of the next generation that I am concerned about and the state of the world they inherit. Looking after our animals and Earth is one thing but also the preservation of human skills, crafts and traditions,” says Hefer. “I think it’s important to show what beauty humans are capable of with their hands rather than the destructive mass production that technology is driving the modern consumerist society towards.” 

Hefer focuses on conceptual precepts that manifest in three-dimensional forms, in a variety of executions, from public sculptures and installations to product and furniture design. Fascinated by the reactions and energy a piece can generate in a space, he embraces Africa and the skills and processes that are readily available indigenously, rather than trying to emulate foreign processes. Making use of traditional techniques and crafts that focus on the hand rather than machinery, his works reconnect the senses and evoke an innocent, open-hearted awe. 

Hefer’s larger-than-life seating environments have garnered extensive global recognition over the past few years. His first solo show, Monstera Deliciosa, Volume I, was presented at Southern Guild in Cape Town in 2015, and in 2017 he had a solo exhibition at R & Company, New York. Hefer also represented South Africa at the inaugural London Design Biennale 2016.

Courtesy of Southern Guild, photo by Antonia Steyn

For inquiries, please contact Marika Kielland ([email protected])

Last updated June 27, 2018

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