Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Where You Been? --- Day 10/92

Walk:  GG Park Pickleball

Distance: 2 miles, 90 minutes pickle, wee yoga

Yinka Shonibare (English), Gay Victorians, 1999, wax printed cotton
Background: Mickalene Thomas, Qusuquzah, une tres belle negress 1, 2011, Rhinestones, acrylic paint, oil, enamel paint on wood panel

Sometimes artworks are so exquisite Ciwt just enjoys their beauty. Other art causes her to think, perhaps re-examine.  

For instance the dresses above.  The artist Yinka Shonibare purchased the fabric at a popular London market.  The cloth is commonly associated with contemporary Central and West African fashion but is actually based on Indonesian batik designs.  So how did the designs get to Africa?  Well, the Dutch in their East Indies Colony were fascinated with the native batik technique, and in the 19th century a Dutch company took it to their colonies in Africa.  There it was adapted to African patterns and introduced into West African markets.

Shonibare has added another layer of hybridization to the cloth by fashioning it into European Victorian style dresses worn at the time of rapid colonialization of much of the African continent.


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