The Cabinet

Paper Cuts, an exhibit of limited edition prints by a selection of local and international designers marks the opening this week of Cape Town's newest gallery.

Cape Town’s newest gallery space, The Cabinet, opens on Thursday with Paper Cuts, an exhibition of limited edition prints from local and international designers. Designers taking part in Paper Cuts have been sourced from Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, New York, London and Sweden. All design, illustration and typography prints are limited edition runs of 20. The designers featured include Design Indaba Conference and Emerging Creatives alumni Garth Walker, Richard Hart, Jade Klara, Lauren Fowler and Gareth Owen.

The Cabinet is the brainchild of Capetonian creatives Jacki Lang and Daley Muller. It is an independent gallery space and home for pop-up design exhibitions and events. 

Lang and Muller gave us the story behind the space and a preview of what’s to come at The Cabinet:

You have been friends your whole lives. 
Is this your first professional collaboration? 
And how did the idea for The Cabinet come about?
We illustrated a children’s book together about 10 years ago but, besides that, we have always spoken the same visual language and been inspired by the same things but have never lived in the same city until now, so this is our first real collaboration. We have always spoken about a place to make all our ideas happen – from gallery shows to our own product designs and workspaces – and when Daley saw a space available in Wale Street, I said yes before we had even discussed it. And a few days later The Cabinet was born. (JL)

What are your individual roles with this project?
It's worked so well together and been incredibly fluid but, if we have to split it, I have taken care of more of the nuts and bolts: our design work, framing, logo and production details within the gallery while Jacki has had a more curatorial role in conceptualising exhibitions, sourcing designers, writing briefs and liaising with clients. But obviously there are overlaps and we work on everything together. (DM)

The opening exhibit is Paper Cuts, an exhibition of limited edition prints from local and international designers. 
How did you select the designers and what was your brief for the exhibit? 
Did they create the works specifically for The Cabinet?
We selected designers with a very strong graphic language that we feel are collectable and inspirational no matter where they live in the world. The aim is to grow Paper Cuts online to become a much bigger collection, so although we have an amazing line-up of talent, we are hoping it is just the start. Work was made for us especially for Paper Cuts with no specific brief. In some cases, we have worked closely with the designers to hone their pieces and in other cases, we have received surprise final results over email. So in this case, we have curated the designers involved, rather than the work itself, as we weren’t sure what pieces we would land up with in the end and it is the designers we want to champion. (JL)

How are you pricing the prints?
We are very interested in the young collectors as much as young designers and making outstanding design accessible and exciting to own. Prints are priced affordably by size at a democratic flat price. (DM)

Will The Cabinet be a permanent fixture on Wale Street?
Yes. The Cabinet is here to stay. We will house pop-up shops, front of house window exhibitions, interactive happenings, dinners, markets and a few other surprises over the course of 2014 and beyond, as well as our own design studio. We will be showcasing local design and creativity and inviting international guest designers, exhibitions, shops and events that we’ve sourced from around the globe. (JL)

Why did you select Wale Street as the location of the gallery and exhibition space?
Wale Street found us. We heard about the space and jumped at it and are so excited to be in the centre of town in a magnificent building with a very special courtyard and outside space too. (DM)

What exhibits and events do you have lined up after Paper Cuts ends?
Paper Cuts will move online and continue to grow as a virtual exhibition. Then the next event in the space is a pop-up wine shop run by Spier over the summer with exciting collaborative displays happening inside at the same time.

JL: You recently curated writer Lauren Beukes’s The Shining Girls Charity Art Show for Rape Crisis. Are you involved in any other projects at the moment or is The Cabinet your main professional focus for its duration?

I am currently sourcing art, design and furniture for private clients, but am hoping to direct all my focus on The Cabinet next year and am in discussions about some incredibly exciting exhibitions.

DM: You participated in Design Indaba Expo 2010 with your graphic design stationery and clothing business called Mü & Me. Any Mü & Me updates to report? 
The Cabinet is my studio space. I’m developing my own business, DM WORKSHOP, which includes illustration jobs, brand development and product design.


The opening of Paper Cuts forms part of First Thursdays on 5 December. The exhibit will be open from 5 to 9pm at 64A Wale Street.