Pieces from an international 3D print project led by the University of Hertfordshire will be showcased in an exhibit at London’s Oxo Tower this week.

The artwork was created during 3D Print Connect, a virtual event held in April created by Herts Propeller; a design studio based in the University’s School of Creative Arts. The project brought together 30 South African artists from disadvantaged backgrounds with no experience of 3D printing and tasked them with creating artwork using the technology.

Three pieces were selected by the ‘maker stations’ in South Africa, the places where the artwork was made, to be displayed:

  • ‘GeoLamp’ by Samukelisiwe (Sam) Shezi and Kekelwa Akombelwa, two architecture students from the University of KwazuluNatal
  • ‘Modern Gesture’ by Candice Lawrence, a small creative business owner from South Africa
  • ‘Diamond Lamp’ by Phindile Xoliswa Kotane, a young creative from Johannesburg.

Artist Phindile Kotane, whose ‘Diamond Lamp’ piece will be displayed at the exhibit, said: “This is the first time I have ever designed and printed in 3D at such a large scale. Usually, I create and design jewellery fit to wear. Being involved in this project was exciting – it has taught me new skills and given me new ideas of how I can use 3D printing in my own designs.”

3D Print Connect was inspired by the Brazilian practice of ‘gambiarra’ – the art of using what you have at your disposal to repair or create something new. It was delivered with funding from the British Council, in partnership with The Craft and Design Institute and The Maker Space.

Throughout the project, the artists were able to access webinars, training and mentorship, driving their creativity and helping them build their digital confidence.

Tricia Bryan, Business, Innovation and Projects lead from the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “Some individuals from the developed world have lost all connection with how anything is made. Out of necessity, those from the developing world remain in touch with their craft skills and the concept of ‘gambiarra’. We wanted this project to inspire those taking part to explore the possibilities offered by digital making, and at the same time boost their digital confidence and capabilities. I’m excited for the public to be able to see this work at the exhibition.”

The pieces will be shown at Studio 2.11 in Oxo Tower Wharf from today (1 March) to 5 March, 12.00pm to 6.00pm. Entry is free. To find out more, visit https://coinstreet.org/space-and-venue-hire/galleryoxo.