With the London 2012 Olympics just around the corner and with international visitors flocking to the capital there are various exhibitions and events happening around the country to celebrate the diversity of cultures and heritage in London and the country in general. Part of the Must see in 2012 programme of events celebrating the London Olympics, will be an exhibition in Gateshead that is a great example of how innovative cultural projects are springing up nationwide in anticipation of the summer ahead. This particular exhibition is called Journeys in Beadwork: Culture and Tradition in the Eastern Cape, and will be complemented by Journeys in Beadwork: Dialogues in Contemporary Style; a display of contemporary fashion inspired by traditional beadwork, featuring new work from South African fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo.
Held at Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead these two new exhibitions explores beautiful African beadwork and with a contemporary focus on its influence on our 21st century fashion choices. and aims to explore the areas of history of the craft and also the lives, culture and communities of the people behind it. The latest African fashions are being showcased, including a new clothing collection from London Fashion Week alumni, Laduma Ngxokolo, a South African fashion designer who fuses old and new by using traditional beadwork patterns in his very contemporary designs.
In the exhibition you will find a focus on the beadwork of the Mfengu people of the Eastern Cape, who are a group who for use fashion as a form of expression and communication and for generations beading has been an essential feature of clothing and accessories worn on special occasions. Their clothing and beadwork was often used to convey a person’s home area, age, marital status and even the number of children they had. Beadwork is now a symbol of the new South Africa and now over 180 traditional beaded items of the Mfengu people are on display at the Shipley which are on loan from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum in Port Elizabeth.
Supported by the Friends of the Shipley Art Gallery, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ Business Partners and the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Development Trust
Location: Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead
Until: September 2 2012
Opening times: 10am-5pm (2pm-5pm Sunday).
Fee: Admission free