Umcebo Design, a big tree and COP17


As promised last week, we have a follow-up article on the large tree Umcebo Design is building for COP17, along with images of the building process.

Umcebo Design recently partnered with Wendy Chatterton and her extremely creative and generous team from Ukhamba Craft, based in Hammersdale. They have created a tree for the COP17 summit, currently underway in Durban, South Africa. They hope this will be the first of many pieces, which will form the backbone of sculptural and other pieces that will be made. The commission was secured by the Department of Arts and Culture, by Nicky du Plessis. Tracy Meeske of Kubu Lighting also helped the team make the welded framework, to hold a piece of this size and scale. Chatterton and her team worked through thick and thin, which included saturating rain, very tight deadlines and frequent power failures.

Jackie Ujala Sewpersad (Robin Opperman’s creative partner) worked tirelessly to make the piece, and despite being very ill, made it all happen. Opperman tells us “The tree represents what our work and partnerships are all about, i.e. creative, hard-working people, coming together to challenge ideas and expectations, and hopefully show people what Durban is capable of”. The tree is 3 metres tall, and is made from T-shirt off-cuts that have been crocheted onto the frame. Opperman goes on to say “We have also made 3 000 crocheted leaves (I kid you not), that we will spend the next three days hanging on the tree with the COP17 conference delegates”. Robin Opperman will share all the images and news as the project unfolds on their Facebook page.

Below are some images of the project coming together. For more, please visit Umcebo Design’s Facebook page.





For more, please visit Umcebo Design’s Facebook page.







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