Theme: Sustainable Design

For Cape-Town printmaker, David Bellamy, textile design is about more than creating beautiful objects. The designer produces textiles under his brand MOMAT, the Museum of Making and Tomorrow, that address what he feels are our collective local priorities, with his most ardent focus being the environment.

Passionate as he is about this topic, Bellamy strives for a zero-waste production line, using sustainable base cloths such as linen, which he respects for its low water and pesticide footprint, and for the fact that it is strong and long-lasting. “I never use synthetic fabrics, I don’t intend my textiles to end up as sea-plastic or landfill at the end of their lives.”

Added to this, the studio makes use of water-soluble, low-toxicity, locally produced textile inks that don’t pollute groundwater or rivers. Bellamy also takes pride in the studio’s labour-intensive, employment-creating design processes, such as block printing and stencilling, with stencils cut from donated old X-Ray plates. “A commitment to handmade goods designs stability into our society.”

Bellamy has held a lifelong passion for the outdoors, a love evident in his natural designs. “I am principally inspired by my garden, a wildlife and restoration garden, which is visited by a range of different birds and insects throughout the seasons, that come to nest, sing and forage.”

As a child, Bellamy asked for microscopes and chemistry sets on the one hand, and oil pastels and paintboxes on the other. This fascination for both art and science has merged seamlessly into his passion for presenting solutions to environmental problems, such as the ubiquitous plastic pollution, built into the designs of his beautiful products. “Textiles are functional and utilitarian, yet they can be invested with as much meaning as fine art pieces,” he says.

100 Beautiful Things is presented by the V&A Waterfront in celebration of South Africa’s creativity, compassion, ingenuity and resilience. Every week we will be showcasing five amazingly beautiful creative things that make us proud. It is curated in partnership with Platform Creative.