No stranger to South Africans — or the rest of the world for that matter — Ardmore is a local design brand that has always looked to Africa, its people and its natural gifts as a source of inspiration.
Ever since the brand’s playful and naive ceramics became hot property for art collectors, the world has looked to Ardmore to channel Africa with its whimsical style and rich storytelling narrative. Now, 10 years after the ceramics brand expanded, launching its lifestyle design collections under Ardmore Design, they have released their magical Sabie Collection of textiles.
Ardmore has taken its cue from various African rivers in the past and, this time, the Sabie became the focus. When creative director Fee Halsted holidayed alongside its banks in the Kruger National Park, the idea was to take a break and unwind. However, the creative mind is never fully at rest and inspiration struck.
As the river feeds the earth, the bush surrounding this part of the Sabie is lush, thick with foliage and abundant in the wildlife described by Halsted as a “never-ending tapestry of camouflaged beasts, where light, sound, movement and colour shift and change”. Cheetahs, bush babies, genets, elephants, moon flowers and aloes abound in the resulting collection, depicting the Africa we all know - only more fanciful, more colourful and more spectacular - in the way only Ardmore can.
“Ardmore artists have never come into close contact with the fauna and flora they represent, and we are charmed by their earnest and naive rendering which is similar to the paintings of French artist Henri Rousseau,” their website says.
The three designs — Sabie Forest, Camp Critters and King Cheetah — are available in a number of colourways and are also printed onto velvet and a cotton-linen blend suitable for upholstery. In addition to the fabrics, Ardmore Design has released two limited-edition sofas, which playfully show off the new collection on their panels.