Design of the week - the art of cricket

2015-04-19 13:40

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Don’t be fooled by the simple linearity of designer Unathi Mkonto’s Boys of South Africa series of illustrations and photographs. It’s taken him years of practice as an architect, fashion designer and visual artist to hone the almost brutally minimal execution of his black-and-white images.

Composed of one simple stroke of scribbles, his gestures engage a fluidity and rhythm that capture a moment in Mkonto’s childhood growing up in Peddie, a town in the Eastern Cape, where playing cricket held powerful memories. Volume two of the work, which was recently exhibited as part of the Special Occasion art events in Cape Town, captures “a geometric contextualisation of the cricket field”, he says.

The exhibition catalogue says: “Unathi finds a playful energy in the game of cricket, while transposing its 70s South African political past. In this way, he places the game and its turf in a dance with its historical and cultural context in the country.”

I ask him what good design is.

“Good design has to be honest. There are stories to tell here that need to be celebrated by the world. There’s something about unity in South Africa that’s very rare elsewhere, and design draws a lot from those things.”

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