Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Inspiration From All Over the World

Like many in the blogosphere, I've recently read about Florence Broadhurst, a fascinating woman who re-invented herself throughout her life and lived in interesting times. The focus of the book is the wallpaper company she founded, that was the pinnacle of her work. I would recommend it to anyone interested in design, or anyone who is interested in the tenacity of the human spirit.

Her work made me think of a South African whose work has really inspired me. Her name is Maira Koutsoudakis, and she is at the helm of life Interiors+ Architecture+ Creative Direction. Her work has been shown in South Africa and abroad, and her products have been sold in the Conran Shop in London and elsewhere; at Kelly Hoppen in London; As’art gallery in Paris; and in Germany.

What made me think of her while I was reading about Florence Broadhurst, besides the obvious incredible talent that both display, is that Maira has created a wallpaper of her own. It's called JHB (which is the abbreviation of Johannesburg) and it incorporates the heritage of the city: everything from giraffes, protea, elephants, the Drommedaris (the ship that Van Riebeek sailed when he "discovered" the southern tip of Africa), diamonds, aloes, and people. It's fascinating to look at, there is always something more to find.

Maira has been a speaker at the bi-annual meeting of South African creatives, Design Indaba (more about that exciting subject at a later date). You can read more about her and her work on the Design Indaba website.

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