Design stalwart Porky Hefer, renowned for his amazing bio-mimetic nests, will be showcasing his work not once, but twice in the USA, in the upcoming months.
Two of his works are currently on show at Design Miami, and in January a solo exhibition of never-seen-before work will be on show at R & Company in New York.
An exploration into perception and natural instinct, the groundbreaking show, Heart of Lightness, aims to encourage a new discourse around handmade design, the joy of child-like reception and the transformative effects of meditation.
Porky’s pieces challenge viewers to shed what is learned for what is inherently and unconsciously known – to examine our responses, preconceptions and limitations. They offer the opportunity to reconnect the senses, embrace visceral reactions and to welcome an innocent, open-hearted awe.
‘Porky creates immersive environments that allow people to escape into a different world,’ says R & Company principal Zesty Meyers. ‘They’re beautifully made and seemingly weightless objects that make people think about installation, performance and design in a new way.’
Porky will be making an important statement about Africa in his first solo show on US shores. He tells a story of a continent embracing a strong artisanal spirit, rather than relying on mass-production from the global economy. He urges us to interrogate why we are so removed from our natural environments. With passionate focus on the magic of the hand, Porky executes his pieces intuitively, rather than according to learned design thinking, and, with age-old techniques and skills, he works alongside local craftsmen at the historic leather merchant Woodheads and The Cape Town Society for the Blind.
‘More and more animals are losing their basic instincts,’ he explains. ‘Humans lost theirs a long time ago with the advent of the societal norm. So we are tuned to do the right thing, and objects and items are designed to guide you to do the right thing. Can we create objects that inspire a more instinctual behaviour that don’t make you stop and think “will I look okay when I do this; is it the right way to sit when someone is watching?”.’
‘Porky has a viewpoint unlike any other designer,’ says Southern Guild co-founder Julian McGowan. ‘The apparent playfulness of the work belies the depth of thinking, research and evolution that underpins every piece. His is a rigorous study of civilization, humanity and the natural world.’
Heart of Lightness will run from 17 January to 23 February 2017.