Indepth Arts News: |
"Material Matters:Genre: Needlework by Rural Women s Collectives"
2001-02-10 until 2001-03-25
South African National Gallery
Cape Town, ,
Material Matters is an exhibition of one of the most dynamic art
forms from contemporary Southern Africa - needlework. It focuses particular
attention on works by a group of women in the rural community of Weya in
Zimbabwe, and also provides fascinating examples of works from five projects
in South Africa.
Needlework has provided poverty-stricken women with not only an income, but
a voice: females, who would normally keep silent, have found in needlework
a means of expressing their aspirations and anxieties. The appliquéd wall
hangings made by the women of Weya include stories that focus on customs and
norms in Shona communities, and speak of the ways in which these affect
womens lives. Yet, far from being solemn, the stories are represented with
humour and, in many instances, dramatic irony. Likewise, South African works
in fabric demonstrate not only the technical proficiency of the women who
make them, but also their imaginative and creative capacities.