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South African design amazes in Paris

Tuesday, 28 May 2019  
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The CDI has received fantastic feedback after showcasing a selection of top South African craft and design at one of the world’s most prestigious exhibitions, Révélations, which took place from 22 - 26 May 2019 in Paris, France. 

This is the first occasion that South Africa was represented at the biennial.
The CDI partnered with South African-based French art dealer Sophie Ferrand-Hazard of Art of Connect to select designers and makers from the wealth of talent South Africa has to offer.

Révélations, held under the glass vault of the Grand Palais in Paris, is an international biennial of contemporary craft and creation. It attracts over 40 000 visitors and in 2019 just 33 countries were selected for the exhibition.

The participants for each biennial are carefully selected by an Artistic Steering Committee, who focus on original top-quality works that “pave the way towards new creative dimensions”. This committee comprises highly qualified professionals from the fine craft sector, architecture, galleries, luxury manufacturers and the press.


“It was a real privilege to spend five days under the beautiful glass dome of the Grand Palais in Paris,” said Erica Elk, Executive Director of the CDI. “Also a lot of hard work! We made some fantastic contacts with the media, collectors, gallery owners, retailers, professional makers and craft and design development institutions from all over the world – not just Paris.


“The collection of products, put together by Sophie, attracted a lot of attention and compliments and hopefully will generate good sales for the eight producers represented. However, the spin-offs for the sector as a whole – not just the participants – is huge; and we will definitely be working the contacts we made.


“The organisers, Ateliers d’Art, were fantastic hosts; were lovely to work with and we made good friends! We hope to be back in Paris at the next Revelations in 2021.”


Speaking on behalf of Ateliers d'Art, the curator Romain Juilha said that South Africa’s first participation in Révélations was amazing.

“The South African collection was one of the most appreciated of this edition for sure. This collection was to us deeply rooted in South African traditions, it was very sincere and respecting of the traditions and the people; and the combination or mixing of objects reflected the very concept of the rainbow nation. The resources of the country were shown and transformed, and these materials were really elevated to the rank of piece of art.”

You can read the full report from Ateliers d'Art here.

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