Weaving some color into it ... Last week our Open Campus Block students had the opportunity to learn from and work alongside a local master artisan by way of an African Beading Class.
Beadwork has a rich cultural history in Southern Africa, and there are plenty of artists across the city working hard to keep this tradition alive today. This craft has its roots in traditional local practices, and historically different colours would have had different meanings in their local communities. Today, beadwork continues to be a common sight in and around Cape Town as local artists produce unique handmade pieces every day, often for sale to tourists. South Africa has a comparatively high rate of unemployment in the formal sector, and many artists have adapted to overcome this challenge by pursuing the creative arts via the informal sector. You will find beautiful beadwork on sale in formal shops and informally at the side of the road or in public spaces. We invited the Open Campus Block students to join us in creating a beaded piece to take home with them, as a unique personal souvenir of their time in Cape Town and as a reminder of the cultural heritage from which the craft developed.
For more events related to African art, we encourage students to check out the striking Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA) at the Waterfront, which is famous for its provoking exhibitions featuring some of the best and most poignant artists the continent has produced. The Global Institute is also a short distance from what some describe as Cape Town’s ‘heart of street art’: the vibrant neighbourhood of Woodstock. In their free time, students are able to take a guided walking tour of the area to explore the cultural and political journey that has shaped our contemporary informal art movements.