A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

crafts
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

WIRED (article first published : 2005-05-15)

Written by David Arment and Marisa Fick-Jordaan with photographs by Andrew Cerino, Wired: Contemporary Zulu Telephone Wire Baskets is the first book to document the development of wire weaving in South African art. With over 270 magnificent full colour images, Wired showcases the works of the most renowned contemporary weavers including Dudu Cele, Bheki Dlamini, Alice Gcaba, Zama Khanyile, Mboniseni Khanyile, Ntombifuthi Magwasa, Robert Majola, Zodwa Maphumulo, Simon Mavundla, Elliot Mkhize, Jaheni Mkhize, Alfred Ntuli, Bheki Sibiya, and Vincent Sithole.

The foreword by Karel Nel, Associate Professor of Fine Art at Wits University, places the baskets in their historical and geographical contexts. Paul Mikula, founding trustee of the Bartel Arts Trust, architect, writer, and owner of the Phansi Museum, contributes a “Song of Praise” that celebrates the baskets and tells the story of their place in Nguni culture.

The decorative use of wire has long been a feature of southern African art work and, with advancements in telecommunications, a new type of wire – multi-coloured, plastic-coated copper wire, referred to as telephone wire – has become available.

In the late 1960s, Zulu night watchmen started weaving scraps of this wire around their traditional sticks. The practice became popular among Zulu communities and today there is great innovation and creativity in the use of this medium. Artists have produced goods ranging from soft wire bowls and plates to glass bottle covers, tea sets, isikhetho (beer strainers), and pots, all created in a wide variety of colours and complex patterns.

David Arment, one of the authors of Wired, had travelled extensively in southern Africa when he bought his first telephone-wire basket in the early 90s. He developed a passion for collecting baskets and since then has established, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the premier collection of baskets by contemporary wire weavers.

Meanwhile, Marisa Fick-Jordaan, Arment’s co-author, was developing her own passion for baskets while she worked with the weavers of Siyanda (a residential area outside Durban). She set up the Bartel Arts Trust (BAT) Shop, which supplies telephone-wire baskets to art shops around the world. Through the marketing efforts of the BAT shop and with the assistance of many other collaborators, these pieces have found their way to Paris, London, New York, and Los Angeles.

Wired: Contemporary Zulu Telephone Wire Baskets is a hard cover publication in full colour. Produced by David Krut Publishing, it retails at R350. ISBN 0-89013-449-9. Available from bookstores and from David Krut Publishing, 140 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood on 011 880 5648, fax: 011 880 6368 or e-mail: bronwyn@davidkrutpublishing.com or tshepo@taxiartbooks.com




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart