Designers

Michaela Howse

DESIGN/ILLUSTRATION

Michaela is a late addition to the Indalo team. She is, however, no newcomer to the world of craft and design. On completeing her honours degree in design at Stellenbosch, she began ploughing her skills and ideas into what was then still a small but growing organisation – Streetwires. Today Streetwires is one of the most successful craft organisations in Cape Town. She has continued to work in both the craft/design and social development fields for many years, bringing together the process and business of creation with the growth of individuals and organisations.Piscine gonflable

Whether it is for a film, a book, or a three dimensional art piece, “design has to do something. It’s function can be to provide beauty, if it’s beauty that is needed, a story, if we have forgotten our own stories, or a path leading back to the imagination, if society has become jaded in the way that it sees.” Without imagination, Michaela believes, ”all is lost. Without the imagination, we cannot see things anew. And seeing things anew, that is the continuous work of artists and creators. It’s very important.”

Michaela’s curiosity about the world has kept her moving, photographing and exploring different countries and cultures. “I suppose I am interested in change, in how individuals adapt, and in human value systems – how these are affected by modern developments –  and the role of design in all of this. Design helps people shape new ideas about themselves and the world. But these ideas need to come from within, from the necessity to communicate something of importance in a given place in time and history. That’s why the imagination is so important. It provides us with a creative way of moving forwards.”

“My range for the Indalo Project is motivated by the desire to study nature as a means of better understanding ourselves and our own wild natures. Many of our strengths and vulnerabilities, both beautiful and natural, get hidden by our need to impress through decorative means that are so unnecessary. Perhaps ‘success’ – and even beauty – has more to do with honesty and being exposed, than with constructions that hide our vulnerabilities. The sculptures in this range will be made from wire predominantly, but instead of using binding which is the traditional way of joining shapes, I’m experimenting with soldering. I hope the marks of construction will contribute to the overall beauty and character of the piece, that they will reveal, rather than disguise, the human processes behind the work. I’m crossing my fingers that we succeed! For now we’ll have to wait (and work!) and see.”
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