Project description

My work explores the intersection of tension between post-colonialism and its impact on identity in relation to culture, language, and place. Drawing on personal experience and extensive cultural research, this project examines the construction of 'the self’ through imposed post-colonial narratives. Confronting my upbringing in Zimbabwe brought to my attention the need to interrogate the power structures within our present identities and come to terms with my own colonial history and the role I play in its legacy. With the design and application of a personal visual vocabulary in the form of hand-printed symbols and patterns, this project generates a contemporary, visual dialect that informs the personal and emotional context and tone of communication around the subject of post-colonial identities. 

Exhibition display of a hanging textile print with eight accompanying canvas prints translating the pattern of the textile.

This work, entitled Talking Textile, displays contemporary, visual dialect in the form of hand-printed symbols and patterns that reflect a personal identity narrative. In an exhibition setting, showcased above, the Talking Textile piece will hang alongside canvas mounted translations of the symbols so the viewer can understand the symbols and motifs within the pattern and therefore understand the story of the fabric.  

Image showcasing black, printed symbols and their translations
Accompanying exhibition publication displaying black and white printed symbols and a translation of each
Accompanying exhibition publication displaying black and white imagery and text

This Talking Textile exhibition piece was designed to be accompanied by a series of stamps and a blank canvas to encourage the audience to engage with the exhibition and become a part of the conversation at hand by participating and printing their own patterns and stories. 

Hand holding a stamp printing onto natural fabric
Multiple images of hand-carved stamps
Close up image of a stamp symbol of a lucky bean on top of printed fabric

The exhibition will then be carried over onto bags for the audience to take home. In doing so I hope to encourage the continuation of conversation around identity and post-colonialism as the symbols and Talking Textile become a constant reminder in the audiences everyday life. 

Woman holding a bag with black, symbol patterns printed on
Close up image of hand-printed symbols and patterns on unrefined cloth.