The Big Five Tapestries Exhibition organized by designer Geoffrey Bradfield is on exhibit now through October 1 at Sebastian + Baroquet in New York City.
The “Big 5” refers to the African elephant, lion, rhinoceros, leopard and Cape buffalo, which are the most ferocious and difficult to capture for game hunters and also the favored animals to see on safari. These animals will be featured in a series of handwoven tapestries designed or commissioned by Bradfield and will be available for purchase at the gallery.
Inspired by the wildlife of his native South Africa, this exhibition, Bradfield's third solo show with the gallery, marks the designer's first foray into the neglected medium of tapestry. His subjects are the noble lords of the African savannah, with one concession to his adopted home: the American Bald Eagle. Bradfield's tapestries embody his modernist approach to design: pared down monochrome silhouettes that capture the essence of his subjects without recourse to superfluous detail.
In his own words "My intent was rather simple: I wanted to define the majesty of the beast in black on white with one line. However in light of the tapestry technique, I found it more advantageous to adopt the density of black on white in silhouette."
Kyle Bunting's Zebra Hide Rug.
Today, the chance of catching a glimpse of the Big Five in their natural habitat lures safari tourists south in ever increasing number, yet in spite of outstanding conservation gains made in recent years, all but the Cape Buffalo remain under threat.
The tireless efforts of non-profit groups including the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre remain of critical importance to the preservation of South Africa's cultural heritage. A percentage of the proceeds from the exhibition sales will benefit the organization, which focuses on the conservation of rare, vulnerable and endangered animals.
"Geoffrey Bradfield is one of the world’s foremost designers, but he’s also one of our favorite clients. I had the Zebra design in development for years and this just seemed like the perfect opportunity to introduce it. I am not only excited to support him, but encourage everyone to come and see this exhibition. It is really going to be something special," said Bunting.