Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence

18 October 2018–24 February 2019

Exhibition Overview

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Bongiswa Ntobela (South African, 1973−2009) Funky Bull, 2006, Glass beads sewn onto fabric.

Experience the color and shine of intricate beaded artworks in Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence. The exhibition showcases a new form of textile art known as the ndwango and presents a story of rural South African women overcoming hardships and illness to achieve artistic significance and economic independence.

The artists use colored Czech glass beads to transform the flat black cloth into a contemporary art form of remarkable visual depth. Using skills handed down through generations and working in their own unique style “directly from the soul,” the Ubuhle Women create abstract as well as figurative subjects for their ndwangos. Twenty individual ndwangos and one monumental artwork will be on view, as well as photographs of the Ubuhle artists taken by renowned South African photographer Zanele Muholi.

(Photo courtesy of The Chrysler Museum of Art and The Ubuhle Private Collection.)

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