Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum gets ready for traditional Xhosa fashion exhibition

2018-09-26 17:49
Laduma Ngxokolo courtesy of MAXHOSA archives. (SUPPLIED)

Laduma Ngxokolo courtesy of MAXHOSA archives. (SUPPLIED)

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Tickets for the preview of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum's upcoming exhibition, which celebrates traditional Xhosa fashion, have been sold out.

The exhibition, titled Mother Tongue: The Influence of traditional Xhosa fashion on contemporary design, will start on October 9 and end on February 15, 2019, museum director Emma O'Brien said.

A lucky few will get to see a preview of the art works on September 27 at the museum's inaugural museum gala and fashion show in Port Elizabeth.

According to O'Brien, Mother Tongue celebrates local fashion and features the museum's important collection of traditional southern Nguni beadwork and textiles. 

Selected works by internationally renowned textile designer Laduma Ngxokolo will also be celebrated, she said.

O'Brien added that the title Mother Tongue reflected on the importance of women as custodians of traditional designs and aesthetics. 

Looking back to look forward

"Specialised patterns, colour selection and the cultural significance of beadwork were passed on from mother to daughter or aunt to niece or granny to granddaughter," she said. 

O'Brien added that by holding the exhibition, the museum also wanted the historical garments and beadwork made by "mothers, grandmothers, aunts, daughters, and sisters" to be shared with the younger generation and to continue to inspire new editions of traditional wear.

"We are interested in new styles and fashions that reflect both the wisdom and aesthetic power of the past but transition traditional design into the future," she added. 

O'Brien said other local designers would also be sharing their work in the exhibition.  

"New and historical designs will be displayed alongside each other showing that sometimes you have to look back to look forward," she said.

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum

Bead work to be exhibited Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum. (SUPPLIED)

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  culture

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