” So… whats so special about Functional Art ? ” The tall sculptor looked at me with a curious – slight doubting – glimps in his eyes. – We decided, that was good starting point for the workshop. 40 male and female sculptors from the poor suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe, gathered around the table as interior magasines from North Europe were spread out. Everybody grabbed and started looking – pointing and showing each other pictures, smiled and shaked their heads. – Too easy… How could anybody fancy something like that !
It turned out to be challenging in different way for the stone sculptors. – To get the inspiration and innovation process started and to make ones own design – a turned it into a combined African and Scandinavian design with originality, flow, concept and simplictic lines.
They started from scratch with ideas about the marked demands based on workshop materials, talks, the magasines and from there on, they began to carve the stones. It was a challenge to think functionality and concept in one. As Clephas, one of the stone sculptors said about the Danish design style: ” Its difficult to make it rustic and ” up on its toes ” at the same time ! “
Or as Rachel, said after finishing her special piece: ” it is challlening to make stone light and to make it look like, it is easy to make ! ” and her friend Simo said laughing: ” Nothing can be hidden. “
The Nordic simplistic lines and light flows, was to be tested by the hollistic outlook integrated into the Shona Stone Art and the ancient and complex culture of Zimbabwe, and to everybodies benefit.
All participant came across the goal line after days of hard work, thanks to their experience and motivation for making and learning new – and our facilitators, Fair Trade Designers, who are besides being internationally recognised designers, are teachers at design universities in Denmark.
The main idea with Functional Art workshops was to introduce design and production metodes to the Stone sculptors in Zimbabwe, giving them a second way of making an income and for us at HVH to get new products.
” Nordic appreciation the simplistic lines and lightness and functionalism is interesting to work with as parameters when designing in the very different African raw materials, ” says initiator of HOUSE BY THE SEA, Alice Jul.
The functional Art workshops facilitated by HOUSE BY THE SEA in Zimbabwe has been in cooperation with Chitungwiza Arts Centre, Fair Trade Denmark, CISU – The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affaires and Fair Trade Designers.