One of Malawi’s prolific visual artists, Elson Kambalu, has been appointed as the lead local curator on pieces of art for the yet-to-be opened President’s Hotel in Lilongwe.
The five star hotel is undergoing changes following the appointment of Peermont as the operator.
One of the areas currently being worked on is the art hangings, of which Peermont has Kambalu’s services.
“The set-up is that Peermont has engaged an interior design company from South Africa and I am working with the designers from that company. I am the only Malawian artist, gallerist and curator and I collaborating with them under my company, Art House Africa.
“One of my major roles is to be consulted on type of art that can be fitted in the hotel space, showing both the Malawian element and aesthetics. As a gallery, La Galleria has been commissioned to provide paintings, pictures and sculpture to fill most parts of the new hotel,” said the artist in an interview.
He said he was identified through the Ministry of Tourism as a means of making sure that the hotel has a Malawian touch.
“I was identified through the Ministry of Tourism who outlined conditions to the contractor that whilst the hotel will be ran by an international contractor, it has to show marks of Malawi.
“My previous experience and also the fact that I am an artist qualified me to be able to consult at that level with some of the best designers in the world. At La Galleria, we have commissioned works by more than 50 artists who include painters, sculptors, photographers and numerous craftspeople,” he said.
In a bid to ensure representation, Kambalu travelled throughout Malawi to source art from different producers.
“Expect to see some interesting concepts there. We are trying to combine both traditional and contemporary elements. Hopefully, by end of December we should be done,” he explained.