Heidi Chisholm and Sharon Lombard are two South African expats living in the USA who have tapped into their shared history to create the label Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody. As the isiZulu proverb that lends the collaboration its title explains, the desire to fit in is universal and the process complicated – “He arrives Mr. Somebody and leaves Mr. Nobody.”
Together, they create a fictional world, but with real world implications. It’s a world populated by chickens, fast cars, crocodiles, Ndebele airplanes, magical monkeys, flying lions, six fingers and Santa in a devil suit. A fictional realm where their memories of home and African folk tales blend with Western insights to create new playful narratives.
“We are putting together a souvenir stand of some of our experiences and memories, a market stall which will reflect our lives as South African immigrants,” Lombard explains. “We have invented a borderless country for this market, an explorers’ flag to be planted, and we have been designing and producing goods to sell in our installation stall, our Afro pop-up shop.”
This beautiful Afro pop-up shop is at the Amelia Hyde Gallery in San Francisco until the 4th of June. But don’t worry we did ask Sharon how we can get hold of their beautiful pieces here in the R of SA and this was her reply.
“We are still very new and working on marketing and distribution, I will be coming to the Cape at the end of June and we’ll hopefully find a retailer to carry our goods in South Africa. There is a design museum in Miami called the Wolfsonian that is soon launching an updated site and online store and we’ll sell our stuff there, but at this precise moment in time South Africans can contact me here at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do what I can to get the goods to them, or they can visit and contact us through our site: http://www.mrsomebodyandmrnobody.com/”
Thank you Sharon and Heidi it’s great to see South Africans abroad not only designing beautiful things, but creating entire fictional worlds.
(thanks for the tip-off Mariette!)