Explores the fascinating history of South African beadwork, with a special focus on the Mfengu people of the Eastern Cape. The exhibition will look at the history of the craft, as well as the lives of the beaders, their role and status within the community, and contemporary attitudes towards beadwork. For generations an essential feature of clothing and accessories, beadwork is now a symbol of the new South Africa.
Journeys in Beadwork: Culture and Tradition in the Eastern Cape is part of an ongoing collaboration between Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and the museums of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, South Africa.
To complement this exhibition, Journeys in Beadwork: Dialogues in Contemporary Style will explore the influence of traditional African beadwork on contemporary fashion. From fabrics and patterns to colours and cuts, African styles have long been a source of inspiration for designers across the world.
The exhibition will showcase new South African fashion. A highlight will be a new range of work by South African fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo, who has previously been featured at London Fashion Week. Laduma uses traditional beadwork patterns to create a new range of clothing for the generation of today.