Kopanang Universe Canticle - embroidered stories of evolution, Opening: 22 March 2011

  • Posted: Mar 17, 2011

The Iziko South African Museum offers all who come to explore it’s spaces, a better understanding of the constantly evolving universe as well as the biological and cultural diversity of our planet. The Kopanang Universe Canticle, will be exhibited at the Iziko South African Museum from 22 March until 22 May 2011. This unique body of work comprising over thirty two metres of exquisite, painstakingly hand embroidered panels, tell the story of evolution and creation as interpreted by the craftswomen of Kopanang.

The Canticle was originally commissioned by the Faithful Fools Street Ministry in San Francisco for World AIDS Day in 2002 and was created by 17 women from the Kopanang Community Trust. Dominican Sister, Sheila Flynn, facilitated the work which was inspired by an unusual blend of contemporary and traditional sources, such as the writings of Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, African folklore and the Bible.

Located on the East Rand, the Kopanang Community Trust unites women from two previously divided townships, the Coloured community of Geluksdal and African-dominated Tsakane. They produce embroidered and beaded crafts that are original in design, vibrant in colour and African in expression. This project provides sustainable income to those affected in various ways by HIV/AIDS.

After an extensive exhibition tour of numerous North American cities, the Kopanang Universe Canticle returned to home soil with an exhibition at the Origins Centre of Wits University.

“This is a Sacred Story of the cosmos, the story of the Earth, the story of humans, the story of the gazelle, the story of mountains, the story of you and me. It is the narrative of one single, integrated activity, the Universe.”  Miriam MacGillis, OP, Genesis Farm, December 1st, 2001.

Visit www.iziko.org.za. for more information or email info@iziko.org.za.

Image: Sibongile, Kopanang Community Trust, 2002. 'Our sacred earth is dying - Extinction of the species'. Panel 30 from the Kopanang Universe Canticle.

Text & Photographs © Iziko Museums.
Artworks & Artwork Reproductions © Featured Artists.
No photographs of artworks, images or design components incorporating artworks may be reproduced, sold or transmitted in any form without written permission from Iziko Museums.

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