Picture: Rich Mnisi, Instagram
South African designer Rich Mnisi will be running his first solo exhibition with the Southern Guild from October 2nd 2021 to February 4th 2022. The successful fashion designer, who is renowned for his design work and eponymous fashion brand, is bringing his contemporary, African luxe style to the home with his Nyoka collection.
To create the new collection of rugs, chandeliers and more, Mnisi used a variety of materials including bronze, wool, resin and glass which add to the creations’ bold and fluid designs. In partnership with the Southern Guild and an ongoing mission to promote craft and South African handwork in his practice, the designer collaborated with various South African artisan groups. Included in the list is Monkeybiz, a non-profit organisation empowering communities through beadwork, Coral & Hive, a producer of custom handwoven rugs from Africa and India, and Cape Town-based art foundry and studio Bronze Age.
This is not Mnisi’s first creative contribution to furniture design. Rich Mnisi’s furniture debut, the limited-edition luxe navy leather chaise and a stool were released in 2017. The pieces are titled Nwa-Mulamula after Rich's late great-grandmother and are the representation of Nwa-Mulamula as the ever-present guardian, whose teachings live on through storytelling generation after generation.
Mnisi’s up and coming solo exhibition, Nyoka, also draws on his family history, African mythology and explores the idea of beauty distilled from darkness. Nyoka will also feature work from Mnisi’s trans-seasonal 2021 collection Ku Huhama. In a reveal post with the Southern Guild Mnisi shared:
“This started with a nightmare. My mother dreamt of a snake on her back. When she turned to look at it, she saw an intense green creature, frightening and fluid, dangerous and beautiful. My journey started here and led me to Congo’s Bushongo mythology and its creator god, Bumba, the god of vomit. He vomited up the sun, Earth, moon and stars, and then the rest of the natural world from that acidic pain and discomfort. Unlike most of our world’s origin stories, this one proposes that the beauty and life of our world could be purged instead of birthed. To live is to embrace this duality. To accept that joy and tragedy, light and darkness, dreams and nightmares are connected, orbiting and defining each other.”