Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Sense of South Africa

by Kylie Eastley

Nicholas Hlobo's two pieces at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Inkwili and Tyaphaka, 2011 are quite exquisite. They connect to an earthiness that longs for the simplicity that making provides. He works with paper, stitching hand dyed pieces together with ribbon, creating a patterning of coloured tracks that link the undulating pieces together to create a topography; a country, a place.
Detail of Inkwili by
Nicholas Hlobo

There is a nostalgia in this tea stained mapping. The stitching reminds me of the baskets my grandmother made. Hole punched recycled christmas cards sewed together to make something decorative and functional. It was also something that contained stories and narrative just like Hlobo's work.
Rich, warm colours, rivers and ridges are all visible in a piece that conveys so much. We can feel his story, his country - South Africa.

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