• Murrae Stephens

William Kentridge at Zeitz MOCCAA

A generously extensive and in-depth exhibition by William Kentridge is happening for the next six months at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront Zeitz MOCCA museum (until March 2020). It is a must-see, and make sure you're not in a hurry. Give yourself a few hours. It's called WHY SHOULD I HESITATE: PUTTING DRAWINGS TO WORK and covers four decades of work.

Coral's daughter, Marguerite Stephens has worked with Kentridge for many years weaving some of his works into large tapestries. Nine of them are on display as part of the exhibition. The most recent one is impressively large WHEN THEY RETURNED describing the South Polar explorers hardship.

The tapestries are woven in hand spun mohair and some of the dyeing is done in our studio in Swaziland, a tenuous link, but I will take it. Marguerite has a tapestry studio in Johannesburg and weaves commissions from different artists, for galleries, collectors and exhibitions.

As Kentridge explains, "history repeats itself...weaving led the way to digital control. The punch cards of early computers (so I am told) were based on punch cards used to control the heddles of eighteenth-century textile looms...a tapestry is the opposite of a charcoal smudge or the blending of oil paint, the oppostie of the indeterminacy of a glaze or varnish. It feels closest to a digital video projection, which itself is a movable mural. The digital scale is not determined by the drawing on which it is based but is able to expand or contract (in each weaving of the drawing) according to the wall or screen it will inhabit. "

If you're anywhere near Cape Town for the next few months, make sure you visit the exhibition, you won't regret it. It will be time well spent.

#WilliamKentridge #ZeitzMOCCA #Tapestry

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