Red Bull Amaphiko Academy – Uncle Toms Community Center, Soweto

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In the beginning of 2013 the well-loved Uncle Toms Community Centre in Orlando West was selected to be the venue for the Amaphiko Academy. A team of 19 artists where selected from an interview process, who would transform the space into an inspirational and engaging functional environment.

Their skills ranged from the wood and metal work to painting, sewing and embroidering, furniture design and so forth. In November 2013 we then began a series of workshops, which considered the building in terms of interiors, exteriors, landscaping and lighting. More detailed workshops tackled detailed components of the fit out, such as furniture, floor and wall treatments, special detailing through functional sculptural items and so forth. Over of a 4 week period in December 2013, artists developed conceptual drawings, mock-ups and prototypes of their concepts, and in January 2014 returned to present and motivate their concepts. Following approval by the Red Bull team, we began production. This took place in the artist’s studios as well as on site. Along with local fabricators, and local assistants, the artists created a bespoke decorative and functional interior design fit out for 19 Academy participants and varied groups of visitors and consultants to the programme.

Lead artists: Joseph Monnatlala, Sinalo Ntuli, Bongani Khumalo, Lehlohonolo Mkhasibe, Velaphi Masondo, Thulani Zondo, Thabo Molapo, Malaika Mothapo, Lerato Motau, Peter Tobias, Thabang Selai, Mfundo Ketye, Enoch ’Stitch‘ Ndhlovu, Nthabiseng Letsoso, Stone Mabunda, Simopn Mthimkhulu, Constance Mnguni, Banele Bayanda Nkambule, Lindokuhle Mkhize

The introduction of artists to Amaphiko

The setup

Red Bull Amaphiko 2014

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