African art inspires Dell laptops

18 December 2008

US-based computer maker Dell has launched a laptop range that features exclusive artwork by three young artists – one Canadian, two African – pledging to donate US$20 (about R200) from each laptop sold to the Global Fund to help in the fight against HIV/Aids, TB and malaria in Africa.

Buyers can chose from a Dell Studio 15 or Dell Studio 17 laptop and, for an extra $75, have it personalised with artworks that are permanently infused into the laptop’s back, ensuring that they will not fade away.

“Dell continually innovates through offering unique ways for people to pursue their passions and express their individual style,” Dell’s Michael Tatelman said in a statement last month.

“By bringing these amazing artist designs together with a meaningful cause and our technology, we create new opportunities for self-expression.”

Three designs

“Shine Within” is by award-winning artist Siobhan Gunning, who was born in Mombasa, Kenya. Having had the opportunity to visit many unique locations in Africa, like the Great Rift Valley, the Serengeti Plains, the Ngoro Ngoro Crater, and even travelling up the Nile to its source, Gunning has been privileged to observe wildlife in their native habitat, and visit tribes like the Masai and Samburu.

Currently residing in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Gunning combines her passion for Africa with her life experiences and her love of art, design and photography, creating digital collages that often result in “happy accidents” that bring her joy.

“New World” is by artist Joseph Amedokpo, who resides in the town of Vogan, Togo with his wife and five children. Amedokpo supports his family through painting, using locally produced oils that he blends by hand on canvases made from recycled flour sacks.

While painting, Amedokpo chats with frequent visitors and listens to a short-wave radio, gaining a global perspective on peoples’ failures and weaknesses, as well as their core strength and hope, which is reflected in his art.

The final artwork is “Healing Patterns” by Canadian-born Bruce Mau, the creative director of his self-named design firm, plus founder of the Center for Massive Change. His prolific body of works cuts across many sectors and disciplines, including creating books, exhibitions, retail environments, building graphics, park designs, and corporate identities to name a few.

Mau was inspired by the science behind the fight against Aids, with his artwork representing the chemical bonding of the anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs that helped save lives, combining the patters with inspirational thoughts about the fight against Aids.

PRODUCT(RED)

The two Dell Studio laptops form part of Dell’s PRODUCT(RED) range. Products take on the (PRODUCT)RED mark contribute a significant percentage of the sales or portion of the profits from that product to the Global Fund to finance Aids programmes in Africa, with an emphasis on the health of women and children.

Companies carrying the PRODUCT(RED) mark are currently the largest private sector contributors to the Global Fund, and the initiative counts U2 frontman Bono as its public spokesperson.

According to Dell, the Global Fund has become the dominant financer of programmes to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria since its creation in 2002, approving funding of US$11.5-billion (about R114.8-billion) for programmes in 136 countries.

“So far, programs supported by the Global Fund have averted more than 2.5-million deaths by providing Aids treatment for 1.75-million people, TB treatment for 3.9-million people, and by the distribution of 59-million insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria worldwide,” Dell says.

SAinfo reporter

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