Along the edge of the Indian Ocean, on a strip better known as the Sunshine Coast – roughly halfway between Port Alfred and East London – sits the idyllic seaside village of Hamburg. Be it the rolling hills blanketed by indigenous vegetation that define the drive to Hamburg, or the bird life in the area, or the Keiskamma River estuary that welcomes you into the village, the area is arguably one of the most beautiful parts of the Eastern Cape. It is also home to the multi-award winning Keiskamma Art Project (KAP), which was founded in 2000 by Dr Carol Hofmeyer.
Over the past two decades and four years of its existence, the project has produced major embroidered textile artworks, made by the women and men of Hamburg, sharing their stories and experiences, as well as bringing to visual life the oral history tradition of the Eastern Cape. Now, for the first time since its founding, three artists from the project, namely Anelisa Nyongo, Nozibele Nxadi, and project director Cebo Mvubu, have lent their skills and their particular aesthetic to a design collection facilitated by Clout/SA, a purpose driven creative agency and business-to-business market maker that facilitates opportunities for collaboration between designer-makers and corporate clients.
With curatorial guidance from Clout/SA’s creative director the artists were challenged to create an embroidered piece that referenced what a scenic and quintessentially South African wallpaper might look like. The intention of this approach was to allow the embroidery style of the KAP artists to be expressed as a printed scenic wallpaper.