Blessing Blanket or Singing Skirt at Artscape
Blessing Blanket or Singing Skirt – the EVERYWOMAN Project – will be unveiled on May 19th 2021 at Artscape. In rainbow colours and stretching over 7m, this is a unique textile artwork handsewn and stitched together by many hundreds of women from all over Cape Town.
It is the contribution to the 50th anniversary of the complex by WOMAN ZONE, the NPO aimed at uniting the women of Cape Town, based on the ground floor with a Women’s Library and meeting space.
Appropriately created from the shweshwe fabric donated by Da Gama Textiles for the 60th anniversary celebration of the 1956 Women’s March back in 2016, it’s taken some years to complete, but it comes with love, respect and gratitude from WOMAN ZONE and each and every one of the women who helped make it.
The shweshwe yoyos form the basis if the artpiece and women from Gugulethu and Bonteheuvel to Khayelitsha, Stellenbosch, Langa, Mitchell’s Plain, Sea Point, Southern Suburbs, West Coast, Goodwood and Nyanga, have lovingly sewn these at community workshops or at the Woman Zone Library over the last years.
With more than 4000 yoyos made, WOMAN ZONE enlisted the help of craft designer Mara Fleisher, who had originally suggested the small textile item, to take the design to completion. Adding recycled products to the design and inviting participants to insert a blessing into their yoyo, the design has earned several names!
Sometimes called ‘The Singing Skirt’ from the tinkling sound of the recycled tin lids that edge it and also ‘The Blessing Blanket’ for all the handwritten blessings tucked into it, it is proof of what can be done when people work together, echoing the mandate of Artscape itself.
Collaboration with Zeitz MOCAA has been a highlight in completing the project. In providing a safe working space during this lockdown period by hosting the final 12 workshops in their Education Department their expertise has been freely shared.. An added bonus has been their assistance with the installation of this extraordinary art piece, thus creating a valuable partnership.
The EVERYWOMAN project will be on display outside the theatre on the first floor.
See also Cape Town Green Map