The exhibition entitled Colourful Christmas Time by two visual artists, Susi Asmus Diekmann and Margit Calegari, are currently being showcased at the Omba Gallery in the Namibia Crafts Centre in Windhoek.
The exhibition provides a platform to celebrate the talents of the two artists and for people to buy early Christmas gifts.
Diekmann and Calegari have been inspired by the many natural materials provided throughout the country, fashioning their unusual and singular Christmas decorations.
Calegari creates colourful artworks and clocks, as well as a variety of unique advent wreaths. She has carved wooden railway sleepers with metal and clay heads, and oryx horns and made unique décor items and candle holders. The exhibition opened on 24 October and will end on 19th November.
“Christmas is a very special time for me. It brings people together. It is the time of the year when people decorate their homes and exchange gifts,” said Diekmann.
Diekmann said it took them over six months to finish the exhibition. “For the exhibition, we used materials from Namibia, because we want to showcase the beauty of the country,” explained Diekmann.
One client, James Goses who brought a few animal ornaments (N$120 each) feels that they are very unique. “With these animals on my tree I will definitely attract attention. I can already picture how impressed my family and friends will be when they see my tree. In the past, I brought those round Christmas balls; this will be different. These animals will look absolutely stunning on my tree,” he said overwhelmed.
The handmade gift bags (N$75 each) stood out as the stars of the show. These bags are made from ostrich eggs and animal feathers. Diekmann said most people buy these bags because they can keep them forever.
The wire and glass beaded angels (N$45) are also a good seller. Diekmann said pleased, “Almost everyone loves angels. They are a very special part of Christmas. I also enjoy making the angel ornaments because they are a beautiful creation and are easy to make,” according to Diekmann.
Christmas cards (N$55 each) are also selling like hot cakes. Diekmann said most of her clients send the cards to their loved ones overseas. “In a card you can tell a person how important and special they are you. I also love the card as a gift, because it can be kept for many years,” said Diekmann.
What makes these cards different from others on the market is the fact that they are hand-made and decorated with African animals made from clay and sand from Swakopmund and Zanzibar.
Diekmann said she collects sand almost everywhere she goes. “I find sand stunning. As I have travelled around the world I have noticed that sand is not the same. I decided to use the sand and its grainy texture on the cards, because I know that some people might never get the opportunity to travel to these places and see their sand,” she said.
This is the fourth time that the duo is hosting this pre-Christmas exhibition at the Omba Gallery; they plan to host another one next year. “In the past we had great support and this shows that people like what we create. Christmas for me is a very special moment in my life and I want to motivate others to like Christmas as much as I do,” said Diekmann.