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Animal Light Sculptures stand by day austere and silent, patiently waiting for the gods to bring on the night. Then when all is dark and still they warm with presence, their sinewy muscles radiating electric life.
Michael and Anthea Methven launched Moonlight and Magic, a design initiative that endeavours to incorporate cutting-edge traditional African craft with world design, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Since being described by Durban designer Boyd Ferguson as “a great find”, top international designers and architects have sought after Michael’s artwork. Besides corporate commissions, hotels and game lodges Michael’s Trophy Heads are now in the homes of socialites and celebrities across the world. They have been featured in several publications, books and magazines and on television, travel programmes and music videos.
Larger scale projects are also commissioned and they has completed artworks such as a massive three-dimensional 9-metre Starlight for Century City, life-size Lions for the Anglo Gold launch on the JSE; a Zebra for Virgin’s VIP lounge at Heathrow, a family of Elk for the Swedish Trade Council, a large Rhino for the Rooibos Tea Museum in Malaysia; a Rhino Trophy Head for the Save the Rhino Foundation; trophy lights for Madonna’s Earl’s Court Concert 2001; Television programmes such as The Osbornes, and The Apprentice; football artworks for the Grimaldi Forum Monaco and World Cup 2003; a 400kg 6 metre wire Tree in collaboration with the Haven Night Shelter for homeless people at the Old Mutual Head Office in Cape Town. More renowned US customers overs the years include Oprah Winfrey, Kelly Osborne, Natasha Kaplinsky, Mike Rutherford, Donald Trump and Madonna.
Michael and Anthea have done workshops and Product Development, in particular a parade with young children in Clanwilliam. This was another collaboration, with UCT Archeaology, Art and Drama Departments and the Jazzart dancers, and an event that was charged with emotional and spiritual energy.
They have also collaborated with a number of Township crafters, producing dolphin and springbok puppets and a fantastic Lion costume for a stilt dancer for the Opening Ceremony of the ICC World Cricket Cup, and massive theater masks for the World Cup Marlin Fishing Champs in Mauritius.
Michael was awarded an International Design Award by Elle Decoration.
Latest projects include pieces for Fendi Casa, a flock of geese for Johannesburg International Airport and a group of eagles in various stages of flight as well as a family of reindeer for a Boutique Hotel in London. His life-size Zebras are now a variety of big cities, incl. London, New York, Sydney, Paris and in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
As the innovators of the Pan African Market, Michael and his wife Anthea have encouraged cultural tolerance through this concept and with it they have trail-blazed Cape Town into celebrating its “Africaness”. This indoor African Art market has been the progeny of several look-alike markets and ideas in the Cape Town CBD alone; it has helped to bring a lively hub back to the city center as well as giving many small businesses in the Craft Sector platforms that would otherwise not have existed.
They live and work in an old farmhouse in the Winelands area of Cape Town.
Michaelis school of Fine Art, UCT
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