Ndebele house painting originated from the Southern Ndebele people of South Africa in the mid-18th century. Over time, the striking colours and patterns became key features of the overall design. By the late 20th century, however, a new style had evolved. What were once finger-painted works were now created using bundled twigs with feathers as brushes. The walls are still originally whitewashed, but the outlines and colours have significantly changed. The patterns and symbols can be seen today with a rich black outline around vivid colours. There are five main colours represented: red and dark red, yellow to gold, a sky blue, green, and sometimes pink. The colours give an intensified symbolic meaning to the Ndebele. They can represent status or power of the home's owners, offer prayer, announce a marriage in the home, and even commemorate a social protest.
The church is dark and / quiet except for a woman who / looks to be about ninety years / old, kneeling and sobbing
As children we roamed wild, / covered in soot and dust, / baking cakes with mud and / donning crowns
I have always been attracted to the ripped posters that are to be found, left to rot in various cities around the world.
At the start of the pandemic, I fell into a small studio and began sorting papers, piles of stories, and materials.
It took me a few weeks of working on-site before I realised something was off.
The blaze of a hummingbird hints in sweet shade, / Among brief petals that the year has brought, / Rolling out
With no consideration, no pity, no shame / they've built around me enormous, towering walls.
I’m returning home but it doesn’t feel that way, not when I’m greeted at the airport by kevlar soldiers
All of my encounters with Ndebele artwork have been so removed from the people it belongs to.
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