When I entered the slide library, I knew what I was looking for. I set out to claim all the African textile slides but was captured by slide PR.3.1 .1, a Bakuba fabric called Kasia Velvet from Kasia Congo.
I have a particular fascination with this textile slide because of the repeated patterns and the colour tones. When I pulled the textiles slide out from the drawer, I was attracted to the history rather than its content and in particular the block ‘repeat’ effect image in this piece. It evoked handmade indigo dyed cloth like those in adire eleko cloth produced by Yoruba women in Abeokuta in South Western Nigeria using carved wood blocks to apply a wax resist pattern for each colour before the cloth is dyed.
The patterns and colours, and the dark colour over the background takes me to into my research narratives. One colour over the background is not new. It brings to mind Ankara ‘block1’ and ‘block2’ resit style stories in my PhD narrative and joins hands with Adire eleko to shout that one colour over the background colours but have been part of African textiles.
The slide library Kasia Velvet collection tells its own story of African patterns printed on other fabrics like velvet offerings itself as a pointer to stories of African textiles.
PhD Researcher, MIRIAD