Functional Art to Covet: Pictures and Text by Leigh Robertson

Someone who understands the importance of detail and doing things well rather than in half measures, Margie Murgatroyd has reopened her iconic Cape Town store, Africa Nova, after a short winter hiatus, with a beautifully curated exhibition of ceramics.

Having missed out on the celebratory summer opening the previous evening, I was thrilled to stop by on Friday for a quick personal tour of the freshly repainted store by Margie herself.

For the exhibition, entitled ‘Pieces of 8’, she commissioned 13 well-known South African ceramic artists to create a set of eight functional bowls – plates which, Margie explains, would be ‘nice for serving a salad or ragout on’. The idea was for a collection of unique artisanal pieces that would work well together on the table at a dinner party.


Participating artists include Andile Dyalvane, Anthony Shapiro, Clementina van der Walt, Ella-Lou O’ Meara, Gemma Orkin, John Newdigate, Lisa Ringwood, Louise Gelderblom, Margie Malan, Martine Jackson, Sandy Godwin and Shirley Fintz.


The real beauty of the collection comes from the different interpretations of the brief, from Shapiro’s strikingly monastic bowls to the vibrant green of Margie Malan’s pieces. Each is one of a kind, making them all the more covetable.

Definitely, one of the best stores in lovely design district De Waterkant, if not in Cape Town, so it’s well worth making time for a decent browse – and to snap up one of these limited-edition ceramics while you can. But beware, the store is filled with so many gorgeous new pieces you’ll find it hard to leave empty-handed.

Pieces of Eight –
In the foreground, bowls by Margie Malan.
Indigenous Flowers series by Lisa Ringwood

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