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RURAL WOMAN’S CRAFT (article first published : 2000-06-29)

Some 80 beaded dolls, 45 telephone wire baskets and a large number of traditional jewellery pieces incorporating the red on white AIDS ribbon motif will be on show at the Durban Arts Gallery during the XIII International Aids Conference taking place from July 9 to 14.

The pieces go way beyond mere functional forms and carry the message of HIV/AIDS awareness in the form of text such as “Viva Condoms - AIDS Kills” and images that both celebrate and educate. A rural women’s craft development exhibition originating from South Africa, it will be on show in the Durban Art Gallery’s Gallery 4 and on the landing area

The Department of Design Studies at the ML Sultan Technikon (Durban), Middlesex University in London, the African Art Centre and the British Council have combined forces to generate a unique seven month workshop project aimed at HIV/AIDS awareness and design development within the existing framework of approximately 40 expert bead workers and telephone wire weavers. In general the majority of craftspeople in rural KZN are women whose sole source of income is their craft work. These women often support large numbers of people and are in a good position to disseminate HIV/AIDS information to these isolated communities.

This exhibition reflects the beauty, skill and traditions of some of South Africa1s finest crafts people and as such will in turn reflect the uniqueness of local culture. The works will not be for sale but additional similar pieces will be available to delegates at the African Art Centre Exhibition.




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