GUILD in the Silo District

July 5, 2017

As anticipation mounts for the launch of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA) in September this year, the new Silo District at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is being transformed into a cultural hub with a host of design galleries opening shop. None more so than GUILD a 450m2 flagship design destination that encompasses a concept store, homeware studio, and gallery, dedicated to showcasing some of the continent’s best artists and designers.

Southern Guild is part of The Guild group, a multi-tiered platform for African design that was founded by Julian and Trevyn McGowan. Partners in life and work, the McGowan’s are both champions of collectible African design and a tour de force creatively. In 2003, they returned to South Africa from London (where Trevyn had her own interiors business, and Julian designed sets for theater and opera productions) to start SOURCE, an agency that exports South African design. It was met with great success, and in 2012 they started Southern Guild, a related platform that promotes collectible local design abroad at international design fairs, art weeks and auctions. This was followed two years later by Guild, Africa’s first international design fair that sought to bring some of the world’s leading design galleries and institutions to exhibit alongside local counterparts in Cape Town. It’s a design trajectory that is nothing short of prolific. So much so, they were included in USA Art + Auction magazine’s ‘POWER 100’ list of the most influential players in the global art world.

Stellar-exhibition Southern-Guild credit-Adriaan-Louw 3

But back to GUILD at the Silo district. The inaugural show entitled Stellar pulls together work from the gallery’s design heroes, those talented artists, and designers that have made their mark on both the African and international landscape since Southern Guild was first established. Names such as Porky Hefer, Gregor Jenkin, Dokter and Misses and Andile Dyalvane head up this hallowed crew. But this exhibition showcases the work of more than 20 artists and designers from South African and beyond. Those that caught our eye amidst the very many works on show was the organic tactility of Adam Birch’s sculptural chairs made from tree trunks, Meyer Von Wielligh’s Two Oceans Sideboard, a statuesque, hand carved server that resembles the tip of the continent. Or, Lineage, a cork-and-steel cabinet weighing in at over 500kg, by Lionel Smit and Wiid Design. GUILD Store is worth a visit for must-have items that span the gamut from fashion to homeware and lifestyle, with a covetable in-house range of furniture to boot. In short, it’s both refreshing and relevant, and ROAR AFRICA would love to take you there.

For more information on GUILD or if you’d like us to include it in a tailor-made trip to Cape Town, call us on +1 855 666 7627 or email us at


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