Kunye Colab, a vibrant cooperative sculpture production workspace based in South Africa, stands as a beacon of inspiration and inclusion for artists and sculpture makers of all skill levels. Committed to fostering a diverse artistic community, Kunye Colab provides professional-quality sculpture production facilities, encouraging technical and aesthetic exploration, innovation, and collaboration.
In pursuit of its vision, Kunye Colab strives to elevate the overall quality of fine art sculpture production by offering low-cost and free access to studios, equipment, and education. The workshop’s ethos of openness and inclusion forms the foundation of its welcoming and creative environment, where artists collaboratively decide what to create under the guiding principles of Kunye.
This collective of individuals collaborate to generate sustainable income, providing artists with the opportunity to participate in workshops under the form of internships. Using technologically advanced solutions, they transform their artistic visions into three-dimensional masterpieces affordably, ready to be showcased to the world.
Founded by Dirk and his wife Kat, both with degrees in education, Kunye Colab has become a dynamic, community-centric organization. It not only nurtures talented students but positions them to emerge as leading practitioners in the competitive art market. The work of Kunye artists is showcased at prestigious art fairs and galleries both nationally and internationally, reflecting the workshop’s commitment to excellence.
Guided by principles such as innovation, self-awareness, engagement, distinction, and Ubuntu, Kunye Colab leverages its 40 years of international experience, particularly under Dirk Durnez’s leadership. Dirk’s diverse artistic background, spanning themed construction, storytelling, and sculpture production globally, has shaped the workshop’s innovative approach.
Kunye Colab prioritizes sustainability and eco-conscious practices, utilizing innovative and eco-friendly materials such as Ecoresin, Greenpoxy, 3D-printed recycled materials, and metal for sculpture production. By avoiding pollutants and toxic materials, Kunye Colab emphasizes environmental responsibility in its artistic endeavors.
Driven by a commitment to self-sustainability, Kunye Colab balances education, training, and development to empower artists economically. The organization aims to establish itself as a recognized center of sculpture production excellence with an international reach.
Kunye Colab’s sculpture production program welcomes students from diverse backgrounds, providing equal opportunities and rejecting discrimination. The goal is to equip artists with the necessary skills, technical expertise, and critical thinking to excel in their careers and contribute meaningfully to the visual arts industry.
Within Kunye Colab’s representation of galleries, the studio’s talented artists showcase their creations, contributing to a central hub for artistic expression. The workshop aspires to participate actively in renowned art fairs, fostering accessibility and engagement with art for all. An international exchange program further enhances the standard of professional excellence, drawing leading artists from South Africa and beyond.
Kunye, meaning ‘together’ in iXhosa, celebrates unity and diversity. The Kunye icon, inspired by Boli and Venus, represents the interconnectedness of European and African roots, mirroring Dirk and his team’s cross-cultural collaboration.
As Kunye Colab continues to collaborate on diverse projects, recent endeavors include monumental works like “The Crown Chakra,” “Traveling Hermit,” “The Sound of Water,” and “Sirena.”
Through its commitment to unity, innovation, and sustainability, Kunye Colab remains at the forefront of sculptural exploration, shaping the future of the artistic landscape in South Africa and beyond.