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The Faculty of Arts and Design’s Department of Fashion and Textiles has collaborated with the Jewellery Design and Manufacture Programme to produce garments and jewellery accessories that tell stories of ‘Ubuntuart’.

The exciting collaboration has culminated in an exhibition called ‘Ubuntu Art- Artefacts as Seeds of Destiny’ which opened on Youth Day, 16 June 2022 at Durban’s Phansi Museum and is expected to end on 16 July 2022.

As part of the project, fashion and jewellery students were taken on a guided tour at the Phansi Museum where they learned about the histories of ‘Ubuntuart’ artefacts housed by the museum.

“They were not merely told of the origins of the objects, or their function and how they were made, but their importance as cultural artefacts along with anecdotal stories from those communities that created them. The concept that heritage artefacts can be prompts for innovative and new design, that an artefact has a story behind it and that it can ‘talk’ to one, emphasizes how ideas can come from everywhere. These ‘talking object/artefacts’ for the students, were the conceptual impetus behind the designing of the garments and jewellery,” said Fashion Design’s Lee Scott.

Scott who spearheaded the project alongside jewellery design’s Dr Marlene Dr de Beer explained that third-year fashion students worked in pairs to create a mini range of two garments that is inspired by the designs, silhouettes of the artefacts at the Phansi Museum.

“It was vital that the two different outfits show their individual influences and concepts and yet still visually work as a cohesive pair. The students included printing, the dying of fabrics, embroidery, and a variety of other fabric manipulation techniques to show their creative concepts in the round,” she said.

Second-year jewellery design students were also tasked with working in pairs to produce jewellery based on their interpretation and the history behind the artefacts.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to design wearable artefacts grounded in their cultural history, which they embraced wholeheartedly. We are delighted by this opportunity to collaborate with both the Phansi Museum and Department of Fashion Design,” concluded Dr de Beer.

Pictured: Jewellery Design students work currently on exhibition at the Phansi Museum. (Picture by Dr Marlene de Beer).

Andile Dube




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