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Front, Khishwepi Sithole

Story Vase

Artist

Front
Founded in Stockholm in 2003

Khishwepi Sithole
iLembe, South Africa, 1967 – iLembe 2011

Title

Story Vase

Date

2011

Materials

Blown glass, glass beads, brass

Dimensions

33.3 cm (h.), 19.7 cm (diam.)

Publisher

Produced by Editions in Craft, Stockholm

Credits

Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, inv. 2019.135

Collection

Decorative Arts and Design

Beadwork is an integral part of the Zulu artistic tradition in South Africa. It enables women to express their hopes and concerns despite cultural taboos and language barriers. Following a 2010 meeting organized with the members of the Swedish design collective Front, five women from KwaZulu-Natal taking part in the Siyazama Project put together short stories that they reproduced by threading glass beads on to metal wires. Glass was then blown inside that framework to create a vase. In this work, Khishwepi Sithole related the following: “I believe my beadwork can get the message across. Some of my dolls tell old Zulu stories, others tell their own personal story. I once made a doll of a mother beating up her child because she had HIV. This doll was to tell people not to hit people who have HIV.”

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