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Halala Women of Fancy Stitch Halala

Contemporary Indigenous Tapestries by the Fancy Stitch Group
9th October – 12th December 2009

Not to be missed this October is the showcasing of African embroidered art works from Fancy Stitch, a non profit job creation organisation in Southern Africa. The brain child of Maryna Heese an artist living in Ingwavuma, the job creation organisation gives employment to over 400 women in the area, this will be the third international showcasing of their work. The works of art tell the stories of these women, which are stories of survival in the face of adversity, stories of strength and perseverance and stories of hope, all told through the imagery and kaleidoscope of colours and stitches.

Ingwavuma is a remote and rural place in Northern Zululand, high in the mountains bordering both Swaziland and Mozambique. It is plagued by the scourge of HIV/AIDS and high unemployment. Yet amongst all that, Fancy Stitch is a beacon of hope in this community. Many of these women have had their lives devastated by the reality of living in a community that has been ravished by HIV/AIDS, where a conservative statistic shows that one in three people are infected by the disease and subsistence living is a daily reality.

These women have had their lives changed by the trade of their hands and their stories and the hope that they hold on to will all be on display at this, their biggest ever international exhibition, featuring a collection of seven years worth of individuals work and their story told through interviews and film.

This will be the first exhibition by the group in the U.K. showing the scope and range of works they produce and a number of these will available to purchase.

More details of the group and their work can be found at www.fancy.org.za.