Crafts that empower, uplift and inspire.

Under the Sea Exhibition 1

Under the Sea Beadwork Exhibition 1

We were very excited to open our Under the Sea Beadwork Exhibition 1 in the Woza Moya African Art Gallery. This is the first of several exhibitions we will be having this year, funded by Mac – Estee Lauder Grant Funding.

Exhibition Dates: 19 April 2024 – 20 May 2024
Venue: Woza Moya African Art Gallery
Address: Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, 26 Old Main Rd, Hillcrest
Opening times: Weekdays 8am – 4pm, Saturday 8am – 2pm

In the lead up to this exhibition we have held several workshops to develop new products and beading techniques.

Workshop 1: Bag and Cushion Panels

A group of 20 women were taught embroidery techniques and how to bead on fabric, skills which were completely new to them. We also taught the women about sea life as many of them didn’t know about the beauty and textures of coral let alone how to interpret them onto fabric.

The crafters loved this workshop and we supported their enthusiasm by extending the workshop by an extra day.  The beadwork that came out of these days was phenomenal.

The crafters worked on two items; bag panels and cushions. The current exhibition displays the bags and the cushions will be exhibited soon.

We had the help of Helge Jansen and Sharon Lawson Brown to put the handbags together.

Now that they have learnt to bead on fabric, we will encourage them to translate these skills for uses such as dance dresses or bespoke items.

In this way they can find new ways of generating an income. Woza Moya promotes economic empowerment especially for rural women.

3 of the Blose sisters holding panels with their beadwork

Workshop 2: Under the Sea Necklaces and Jewellery

The second workshop was taught by Sphamandla Mduli, one of our talented crafters. Sphamandla designed several “Under the Sea”-themed necklace and jewellery prototypes and then taught a group of women how to make them.

Again the crafters loved this workshop and this too had to be extended. We were amazed at the creativity and experimentation that grew out of this workshop. Crafters had to learn so many new techniques.

Estee Lauder staff at the Woza Moya under the sea exhibition.
Mac ladies at the Woza Moya Under the Sea exhibition.

MAC Estee Lauder visit

On Friday 19 April the MAC Estee Lauder ladies visited us to learn beading skills and to treat some of our crafters to a hand-massage and make-over. It was timed well with the opening of the exhibition and there was great excitement as the crafters and the Estee Lauder staff saw the exhibition for the first time.

Each crafter found the bag with their embroidered panel and posed for a photo. They were thrilled with how beautifully their panels looked once made up as part of a bag.

The MAC ladies tried on the jewellery and posed for an impromptu photo shot. We were overwhelmed by their enthusiasm and participation.

Photoshoot – Karen Monk Klijnstra

The jewellery was then used on a photo shoot for a magazine article featuring local fashion designer Karen Monk Klijnstra and the magazine group Z creative.

We would like to thank Cat 360 Photography, Karen Monk Klijnstra for the models outfits, and the models.

Photos will be added as soon as we are permitted to do so.

We would also like to thank Kioni beads who shared with us some old German beads in different sizes and shapes which inspired our under the sea theme.

Gallery of Images

Talented crafters showing off their beadwork.

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