I'khoba Textiles presents Christmas in July

19 July 2019 | Art and Entertainment

The I'Khoba Textiles Farm Project opened their 8th annual Christmas in July exhibition on Wednesday, 17 July.

The exhibition will run until Saturday, 31 August at the Omba Gallery at the Namibia Craft Centre in Windhoek.

This year the I'khoba team, led by Mildred von Frankenberg-Lüttwitz and Heidi Lacheiner-Kuhn, has joined forces with different artists from Namibia to host the exhibition under the theme Tinga-tinga.

“Alongside our traditional handcrafted Christmas decorations, visitors will find 'Tinga-tinga' inspired paintings and embroidered interior deco-pieces. We have also incorporated some of the Shy Wild series by Anne Lacheiner-Kuhn, who is a well-loved Namibian artist living in London. “We want to surprise and capture the local- and tourist market. We also want to offer the local market a fresh range from the previous years and new inspired topics to consider,” said Von Frankenberg-Lüttwitz.

This year's theme was inspired by a trip to Zanzibar where the art scene is dominated by paintings and art of the well-known artist Edward Saidi Tingatinga. The Tinga-tinga painting style developed in the second half of the 20th century in Oyster Bay, Tanzania. This painting style later spread to most of East Africa. Today it is a widely represented form of tourist-orientated painting style in Tanzania. Tinga-tinga paintings are usually very colourful and have an African theme such as the big five and other African fauna and flora. The drawings can be described as naïve, almost cartoon-like, and the humour and irony are often unambiguous.

When Von Frankenberg-Lüttwitz returned from her holiday to Zanzibar she was excited to see what the Namibian interpretation of the Tinga-tinga art form would bring.

At this year's exhibition visitors will find large scale Tinga-tinga acrylic paintings and finely embroidered Tinga-tinga scenes on cushion covers. There will also be baskets, fashion jewellery and deco-accessories on display from talented artists from all over Africa. These items come in high-end fashion colour combinations to complement the paintings and tie in with this year's theme.

Each year the artist group purposely pushes the boundaries to polish a crisp assortment of merchandise and to showcase African handcrafts and skill from a distinctive viewpoint while keeping with their ambition of recycling and sustainability.

The range of Christmas-themed decorations and ornaments will include items made from old beverage cans and lids and reused plastics, espresso capsules and water bottles.

The artworks presented by Anne Lacheiner-Kuhn are also a form of up-cycling as her collages are carefully put together by finely cut images from magazines and books. Lacheiner-Kuhn gives old discarded pictures a new composition, look, meaning and life.

“The idea for a Christmas exhibition in July came to life as it is a great opportunity to exhibit Namibian Christmas traditions and symbols to visitors at the peak of the tourist season, in addition to presenting Namibians with some early Christmas ideas and presents,” said Kehrmann, adding that while Christmas plants in the northern hemisphere include the traditional Christmas tree and mistletoe, Namibians have thorn trees and dried agave stems as decoration - all of which will be on display and beautifully decorated at this exhibition.


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