Maarten Vanden Eynde

Malachite Mobiles

Sculpted malachite from D.R. Congo, variable sizes.
Produced in collaboration with Fillot Ngoyi Makelele and Augy Ngoyi Twite
(In various private collections)

Malachite Mobiles involves an addition to the local tourist sculpture market in Ruashi, D.R. Congo and a possible mutual economic stimulation. So far, the local artisans made animals (elephants, crocodiles, frogs, amongst others), ashtrays and miniature maps of Congo or Africa, but nothing relating to the industrial use of the material. They are, however, all made of malachite, a precious mineral containing a high percentage of copper (up to 57%), giving it its known dark green colour. Copper is the most used metal in any telephone, more than all the other metals combined. On average 12% of the total weight of every telephone is copper. 

Malachite is however also known for its special ‘healing powers’ in Chakra rituals. It helps to connect to the heart and has the extraordinary ability to block negative radiation from electrical equipment like computers and telephones. The models were made in collaboration with Fillot Ngoyi Makelele and Augy Ngoyi Twite for the #4 Lubumbashi Biennial in D.R. Congo and are still displayed and sold on the local tourist market next to the animals and ashtrays, simultaneously visualising the end product and the origin of the used metal.

In 2015 they were displayed as museological treasures in glass vitrines at Meessen De Clercq Gallery in Brussels, Belgium, allowing you to do some ‘window shopping’ for a new telephone model.