Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence

Presented by Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, Melbourne FL

Feb 01 2020
-
Apr 25 2020
Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence

This exhibition presents a spectacular overview of a new form of bead art, the “ndwango” (cloth), developed by a community of women living and working together in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The exhibition was developed by the Smithsonian Anac

The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts is pleased to present Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence, a spectacular overview of a new form of bead art, the ndwango (“cloth”), developed by a community of women living and working together in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The plain black fabric that serves as a foundation for the Ubuhle women’s exquisite beadwork is reminiscent of the Xhosa headscarves and skirts that many of them wore growing up. By stretching this textile like a canvas, the artists use colored Czech glass beads to transform the flat cloth into a contemporary art form of remarkable visual depth. Using skills handed down through generations, and working in their own unique style “directly from the soul” (in the words of artist Ntombephi Ntobela), the women create abstract as well as figurative subjects for their ndwangos.

Ubuhle means “beauty” in the Xhosa and Zulu languages. It describes the shimmering quality of light on glass and its special spiritual significance for the Xhosa people. From a distance, each panel of the ndwango seems to present a continuous surface; but as the viewer moves closer and each tiny individual bead catches the light, the meticulous skill and labor that went into each work—the sheer scale of ambition—becomes stunningly apparent. A single panel can take more than 10 months to complete.

Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence was developed by the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Washington, DC, in cooperation with Curators Bev Gibson, Ubuhle Beads, and James Green, and is organized for tour by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

ADMISSION INFO

Free Admission

Address: Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901

Contact for public: (for tickets, questions, etc.) 321-674-8313

Media contact Donna Sewell textiles@fit.edu

Web/Facebook address: textiles.fit.edu; https://www.facebook.com/RuthFunkCenter/

Image Credit Ntombephi “Induna” Ntobela, Tribute to My Sister Bongiswa, 2010, glass beads sewn onto fabric;

    Official Website

INDIVIDUAL DATES & TIMES*

  • Feb 19, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Wed)
  • Feb 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Wed)
  • Feb 20, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Thu)
  • Feb 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Thu)
  • Feb 21, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Fri)
  • Feb 21, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Fri)
  • Feb 22, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Sat)
  • Feb 22, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Sat)
  • Feb 25, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Tue)
  • Feb 25, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Tue)
  • Feb 26, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Wed)
  • Feb 26, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Wed)
  • Feb 27, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Thu)
  • Feb 27, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Thu)
  • Feb 28, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Fri)
  • Feb 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Fri)
  • Feb 29, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Sat)
  • Feb 29, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Sat)
  • Mar 3, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Tue)
  • Mar 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Tue)
  • Mar 4, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Wed)
  • Mar 4, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Wed)
  • Mar 5, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Thu)
  • Mar 5, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Thu)
  • Mar 6, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Fri)
  • Mar 6, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Fri)
  • Mar 7, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Sat)
  • Mar 7, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Sat)
  • Mar 10, 2020 at 10:00 am - 04:00 pm (Tue)
  • Mar 10, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm (Tue)

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Additional time info:

Saturday Hours: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

* Event durations (if noted) are approximate. Please check with the presenting organization or venue to confirm start times and duration.

LOCATION

Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts

150 W. University Blvd, Melbourne, FL 32901

Google Map of 150 W. University Blvd, Melbourne, FL 32901

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