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Home / Exclusive Insights / adding indigenous art to hospitality projects – the story behind

supporting indigenous communities

adding indigenous and contemporary art to hospitality projects the story and motivation behind.

In 2019, VELVENOIR chief art curator Inês Valle and Founder Alexandra Schafer curated art from career artists and indigenous communities in South Africa – for the permanent art collection of the boutique hotel Alex Lake Zurich.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
The art collection will allow each guest to explore more than just “art” in a hotel. the concept aims to countenance the experience in each art- work a “piece” of each territory, society and soul. some artists created bespoke pieces especially for this concept, where the colours, history and élan of lake Zurich are playing a vital part of the inspiration for the artwork series, commissioned by VelVenoir.

THE PROCESS
We carefully sourced artists that have established themselves within the global art market due to their unique art technique, approach and overall look and feel of the art created. once we found artists and their body of works we believed add exactly those components, we started to work closely with them on the art production. the vision for us was to take each guest on a special journey to connect, relax and appreciate their time at the hotel.

THE STORY BEHIND THE INDIGENOUS POTS
But today, it’s about sharing the story behind the indigenous hand-made pots, which we’ve sourced for this project. While discussing the art concept with our client, the art curator inês Valle traveled to the the beautiful tugela river Valley of Kwazulu-natal (sA) where she meet one of the distinguished potters’ families – the magwaza.
Buzephi and Zikoti both work and live in Nkandla (SA), the first heads the magwaza family, she is the leading potter of the village. Both are the fourth generation of female Zulu potters in their family. The art and knowledge of pottery is usually passed from mother to daughters, but in the case of Buzephi it was her grandmother who taught her the art of finely working the clay.
the magwaza family has a rich tradition of making Zulu pots and they have perfected the art of detailed decorative elements designing with amasumpa, the little pellets that mark out the design on some of the pots. the designs usually are spontaneous and geometric, but it is also possible to find some representation of nature and animals. the work of the magwaza family has started to receive recognition and their works have been exhibited and included in private and museum collections, such as the durban (BAt centre) and pietermaritzburg Art galleries, eshowe museum and greytown museum.

THE TEAM BEHIND

Chief Art Curator VELVENOIR

Inês Valle

Inês Valle is a transcultural curator, art consultant and writer based between London (UK) and Lagos (NIG); specializing in African and Aboriginal contemporary arts, international social engaged art practices, art and communities, and in intercultural dialogues. She is a Founder / Director of the CERA PROJECT, an itinerant art platform for art that falls outside of Eurocentric and Western narratives, which encourages critical engagement with contemporary global issues, fosters conversation between artists, curators, writers, scientists and collectors.

Valle holds a BA in Visual Arts and a MA in Curatorial Studies both at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon. She has collaborated with art organizations across the world, including in Argentina, Australia, Congo, France, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palestine, Portugal, Rwanda, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. Currently, she is working on a major museum exhibition of the Argentinian artist Marcelo Brodsky at Berardo Museum in Portugal, as well as to the first edition of FRAT– the first Art and Technology Festival in West Africa, that she co-founded with the HFactor Collective in Nigeria.

Inês Valle supports our VELVENOIR AFRICA/AUSTRALIA advisors with various residential, hospitality and commercial projects with her curatorial expertise and know-how as well as supports our clients with our VELVENOIR services throughout the entire development process.

FOUNDER / MANAGING DIRECTOR - VELVENOIR

Alexandra Schafer

Alexandra Schafer, the driving force behind the international brand – VELVENOIR. A hospitality and marketing professional who brings her passion for contemporary art into the company. Having worked over 10 years within the field of hospitality, events, marketing and PR – she decided to build a company which not only makes contemporary art accessible at a global level but also has a personal and professional approach as part of the entire art experience. Through her entrepreneurial and hands-on approach, she has built a firm that breaks the boundaries of today´s art world and targets strategically niche industries.  To make art acquisition a personal experience and an exciting journey for her clients. Alexandra has been acquiring, curating and installing contemporary art from emerging to established career artists sourced from leading art galleries and art fairs as well as from artists to place within various residential, hospitality and commercial projects to create unique art experiences around the world together with a global network of experts, she selected and vetted to join her on the journey to transform her clients collection and spaces.

A clear understanding and passion for international collaborations have led Alexandra to partner with the best in class experts across the globe, who share the same belief and philosophy, about the power art has and how it cultivates a culture within any estate. Through her global network, she is able to bring in experts when needed but also supports her clients from the initial meeting until a bespoke communication strategy tailored to the art collection, brand as well as the estate to highlight the art investment as its own unique selling point.

Alexandra´s exposure to richly diverse cultures informs her entire approach and unique ability to translate each client´s desire to acquire contemporary art with a personal service allowed her to offer global access for her HNWI to acquire top-notch art for their private collection or project.  She gained invaluable experiences and insights throughout the last 10 years while living in London and Sydney.  Throughout the years, she worked for companies such as Four Seasons, David Jones, Merivale, HSBC, Sportsworld, The Star Sydney and many other boutique firms. Since 2014, she has been developing the brand VELVENOIR to an art concierge with three essential departments (the V Agency, The Blue Chip Brokerage and the Art Consultancy / Advisory) to ensure she can cater for any client who requires contemporary art or firms who are looking to incorporate contemporary career artist within their branding strategy.

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