Friday, December 9, 2011

Visitors from The Keiskamma Art Project

Some of you may remember a talk Jan Chalmers gave a while ago about a project on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, The Keiskamma Art Project.

Bandlakazi and Novuyani in national dress

Last month two Xhosa women from the project, Novuyani and Bandlakazi came to Oxford for a couple of weeks to see how things were done in the embroidery and sewing world in the UK. A plea was sent out to guild members for volunteers to spend a little time demonstrating a textile technique or coming to have a “sew in” with them. Carol-Anne Conway responded and was very generous with her time and materials and spent a Saturday afternoon with the women teaching and demonstrating with one of her beaded creation packs.

Bandlakazi and Novuyani making felt in Jan's kitchen

For Novi and Bandla it was an excellent experience as beading is one of the ancient decorating techniques used by the Xhosa on their traditional clothes. They also came to the November guild meeting and Novi who is the Art Project manager (new in post) was completely on a high afterwards bursting with ideas she had gathered from the way guild meetings are run and will be implementing many aspects of the agenda . She sends best wishes to Karen who spent a long time with her at the meeting explaining things. Both were very happy to see how women in Oxford work together and share their ideas and would like to be able to do the same in Keiskamma.

They send love and thanks to all.