Voices of Women – stitched cloth telling the stories of (often) poor black women from rural townships in South Africa.
There illustrations through stitch are supported with text.
On 16 December 1991, I was working at the plug firm for two years. We were working for whites and we were faithful to them but they were not to us. When they had to pay us they ran away with our money. We, the employees, were so hurt. We went to our respective homes. We stayed for about a month and three weeks with nothing to eat. After that we received letters from the authorities saying that we would have to meet with the people we used to work for to talk about our money. When we arrived there, there was no one. We never got anything until today.
It was 1986 in the years of Apartheid when we were living the bird’s life in Odendaalsrus, At that time people who did not have a passport (permission to be in a certain area) were arrested. My mother was sleeping over at the house.
The police and Boers used to arrive and wanted our parents. They said that we were “kaffirs” children.
What I won’t forget is when they took my father. He was going to work. They took him away and we did not know where he was or where they would take him. My mother did not report this at the place where he was working, Saaiplaas, as she was scared of being arrested. After a month we heard that there were a man that was found in Kroonstad and that he was at the hospital. He had an employee card with the name Zibonele Filane and the name of the place where he was working. That man was my father. He was injured. His waist and leg were broken. He died.
I do not want what happened to my parents to happen to my children.
Ana Lupas is a Romanian artist. In this work she worked with communities in the Transylvanian village of Salistea Sibiului, she consider herself and her role as the ‘initiator’. She would invite local people to use old traditions and build monumentally scaled wreaths onto wire netting which had been stretched over a premade skeletal structure (made / designed by her?). Once made, these artefacts would be displayed in the home, on farmland as objects of interest. Over several years, such objects were made. the idea would be passed on through families and villages but after 10/12 years, due to a worsening economic climate – the making of the works stopped.
Lupas, knowing these works were now deteriorating, she started to draw them to restore them and perhaps act as a commemoration.
For the last (latest) stage of the work, the wreaths have been gathered and stored in metal containers which are formed in the shape of the original wreaths.
Lupas states that it reflects ‘behavioural patterns, engendered by a tradition that has been validated for several millenia by being kept alive in the community’s consciousness’
So yesterday was the worrying inauguration of Trump and this artist came to my awareness today via The Jealous Curator (includes an interview). Natalie Baxter is an artist who makes soft sculptures, quilts and films, I am keen to find out more and will report back with further info.
This is the work of Louise Saxton who takes old embroidered textiles and re-uses elements. They seem to have a backing and are pinned rather than stitched heavily to give a raised movement. I appreciate its practical approach in technique despite its complex visual impact.
TOP: Joan Miró, Bird Woken by the Cry of the Azure Flying Away Across the Breathing Plain, 1968. BOTTOM: Christian Rosa, Oh My God, 2013.Photo: Courtesy of Nahmad Contemporary. Photo: Courtesy of Ibid Gallery, London.