A team of South African designers and contemporary artists have created a collection of 6 bespoke floor rugs for luxury lodge Molori Safari, located in the South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve.
As originally published on visi, the ideas for the amazing series of floor rugs originated in the height of Covid. It was the brainchild of Megan Hesse and Andrea Kleinloog, founders of Hesse Kleinloog Studio in South Africa, who were tasked with revamping the lodge.
“We started this project in the deepest, darkest depths of Covid uncertainty, and it was such a spark of joy during such a dark time. In many ways, the absolute fun and frivolity of colour, and the joy of engagement, were so welcome in the disjointed, masked-up world.”
During the project, a need for round statement rugs arose but supply challenges due to covid made them unavailable. As such the team decided it was time to create bespoke carpets in collaboration with Koos Groenewald of creative studio Jana + Koos and five other major SA-based artists- Athi-Patra Ruga, Cameron Platter, Jody Paulsen, Maja Marx and Nabeeha Mohamed.
The team at Hesse Kleinloog Studio elected to have the rugs custom-made by Brabetz Carpet Mill in Durban. Due to the covid lockdown no-one was able to visit the mill, and everything had to be done over video and phone.
Nabeeha Mohamed’s Rug
“I thought the rug was way better than my original watercolour artworks….It’s a combination of three different artworks, and it’s been translated beautifully,”
Nabeeha’s rug brilliantly captures her trademark bold work, which often depicts domestic scenes. Prior to this project, she’d never worked with carpets and didn’t understand the skill set that goes into turning a flat paperwork into a luscious and colourful artwork of this kind. Follow her on instagram.
Athi-Patra Ruga’s Rug
“It has been a pleasure to see a work that was live performance art move into two-dimensional petit point. With the Molori collaboration, it moved into a large-scale beauty that employed elements of texture and colour. This stays true to our studio’s ethos of stretching ourselves over various media to access all audiences.”
Jody Paulsen’s rug is inspired by his 2013 felt collage, Eat Me (Bananas), and sits in the Molori Safari’s main lodge. His focus on textile-based art made him a great pick for the creating a bespoke carpet.
The carpet features a vivid and mesmerising yellow-and-black piece which is intended to trigger “a feeling of joy and happiness”, and allow guests experience the same sense of charm evoked by the original artwork.
Maja Marx’s Rug
“It’s about the power of line,….I really love the way in which the quality of the line and the embossed quality of the rug came together.”
Maja Marx is a painter who has been working with a visual language for many years. Her inky-hued artwork that is inspired by ribbons and the way they fall to the ground makes for a fine textured rug. Find out more about her and her work here.
Koos Groenewald’s Rug
“I would love everyone to see the cheeky side of this rug, It’s a little bit naughty and has a little bit of nudity in it.”
Koos Groenewald is one half of Jana + Koos , a multidisciplinary design studio based in South Africa. He used a mixedmedia artwork that incorporated cork, and which was lying around his studio, as the springboard for his textured, somewhat provocative rug.
Cameron Platter’s Rug
“Based on an artwork called A Night of Bliss, the rug takes from the original and makes it better!.”.
The acclaimed KZN-based visual artist is accustomed to working with various craftspeople to realize his pieces. His rug depicts what he describes as “a deconstructed lion going crazy on a dance floor”