I have been exploring Zulu bead symbolism and the layers of identity in my birth country of South Africa. It has been an almost ritualistic process and highly rewarding. It will be combined with several other layers of process in order to convey some of the implications of colonialism and some of the more subtle invasions like the Victorian botanical garden.
Beginning with the bead work, I had to move to a loom to ensure the work had a more professional finish and was able to properly convey the skill of the Zulu women in my home town of Durban. It was interesting how the beads, like Victorian floriogrpahy had a symbolic value for courtship and ritual communing.
Next I needed to combine this with flower symbolism and the embroidery craft of the victorians by using circular wooden frames and images I had created of flower centres. In particular the popular rose, lily and tulip flowers.