Woza Moya: suit made from 400 beaded pieces

2011-10-29 00:00

FOR the past six weeks, 40 crafters in the Valley of a Thousand Hills have been nimbly putting together a unique piece of clothing — a suit made from 400 individually beaded pieces and weighing in at eight kilograms.

The green suit, which was designed by Durban’s Terrence Bray, was created by the Woza Moya crafters at the Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust (Hact) for the Footprints Exhibition.

The show, curated by Robin Opperman from Umcebo Trust, was due to be held in the Durban Art Gallery as part of a sustainable/green exhibition for the upcoming COP17 conference, but was cancelled when the gallery was closed for urgent repairs to the roof.

It’s first outing will now be in Cape Town at the Positive Heroes Blooming Marvellous Fashion show on November 3.

But Woza Moya spokesperson Paula Thomson said they were still hoping to exhibit the suit at COP17 in some way.

She added, “We wanted to make something spectacular, that speaks strongly about green issues … an artwork that would stop people in their tracks, whilst getting them to think about our environment, and then get them to make one positive change in their life.

“Nothing like this has ever been attempted before, and it is likely that no sane person will attempt to do such a crazy thing again, it certainly challenged us more than we bargained for.”

After the Woza Moya staff assembled the pieces, which include beaded words and statements on green issues, the beaded material was handed to Bray who, after many hours of hand sewing, put the suit together.

The suit, the making of which was sponsored by Green office, is the latest in a long line of stunning beaded creations made by Woza Moya.

They also created the Dreams for Africa map, which hangs in the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, the Dreams for Africa chair — which has travelled around South Africa and overseas.

They also did the beading on Princess Charlene of Monaco’s reception dress worn at the Oyster Box in Umhlanga, and made a beautiful beaded ottoman for the Meeting The Makers: Contemporary Craft of KwaZulu-Natal exhibition at the Tatham Art Gallery in PMB.

For further information about the work of the Woza Moya income generation project, please phone Paula Thomson on 031 765 5866.

• arts@witness.co.za

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