Lizette Chirrime: Metamorphosis, healing and hybridity

POSTED ON: April 26, 2021 IN Lena Sulik, On Artists, Word View

by Lena Sulik

Art is restoration: the idea is to repair the damages that are inflicted in life, to make something that is fragmented — which is what fear and anxiety do to a person — into something whole. Louise Bourgeois [1]

A young girl from a land of mermaids faces a wicked stepmother; she undergoes an arduous journey to a distant place to fulfil her destiny; she dreams in signs and portents; she returns home armed with new knowledge, reborn.[2] The work of Mozambican textile artist Lizette Chirrime flows from a pool of myth and a personal history of anguish, weaving together elements of form, texture and colour in compositions that re-imagine the way the artist experiences the world. Creating primarily bold collages of intricately patterned African fabric in which abstracted figures float and dance on bright surfaces, Chirrime makes compelling use of both the material aspects inherent in her medium and its complicated history in order to heal the wounds of her past and tell a new life story. “I refashion my self-image and transcend a painful upbringing that left me shattered and broken,” she explains. “I have literally ‘re-stitched’ myself together.”[3]

Sea Goddess, 2015. Fabric, nylon thread and thread on board, 38 x 30 cm. (Image courtesy of the Nando’s UK Collection)

Born in Nampula, Mozambique, Lizette Chirrime moved to Cape Town, South Africa, in 2005, to distance herself from childhood trauma and to explore opportunities in the artworld not available in her home country. Since her residency opportunity at the Greatmore Studios in Woodstock in 2005, Chirrime has exhibited around South Africa in both group and solo exhibitions, and has shown internationally, in London, Lisbon, Berlin, Paris and Oslo. She has recently, in early 2021, re-located to Mozambique.

Chirrime’s early life was devastatingly disrupted after her parents separated and her father remarried when she was seven. “My stepmother beat me and forced me to do things, clean, look after the family,” she says in explaining her circumstances. “I was like a slave.”[4] Her early working experiences were not much different, and she became driven by the idea that her life could be more than trauma and the self-hatred inflicted by abuse. The ability to shift this negative sense of identity was first explored by the self-taught artist through the repurposing of hessian sacks, used primarily for the transportation of goods like coffee beans and potatoes. Often re-used in daily life in Mozambique, Chirrime reclaimed this rough fabric because of its ubiquity and affordability, and created hand-sewn tapestries. In Mozambique they use it as mats after rain to clean their feet,” she describes the fabric, and goes on to say: “That is what people would do with me, they would clean off their shit on me.”[5] Though chosen initially for practical reasons, Chirrime identified with the coarse material and realised that, through transforming it into something beautiful, she was undergoing a metamorphosis herself.[6]

In examining the life of another Cinderella-figure who has worked with textiles – artist Louise Bourgeois – we can see parallels in the life of Chirrime, as well as the constructive influence self-reflective or anamnestic creativity can have. For Bourgeois (whose father had multiple affairs, including with their live-in English teacher), “the recounting of her early years has become a fundamental part of her artistic expression, a narrative which, despite having been told many times, retains for the artist its emotional intensity. Through making art she is able to access and analyse hidden (but uncomfortable) feelings, resulting in cathartic release from them.”[7] The significance of this aspect of art-making has been the motivation for most of Chirrime’s work.

For Chirrime, the metamorphosis is a spiritual experience as much as an intellectual or psychological one. Interlaced with the mythology of her life and work is a strong thread of spirituality, whose purpose is to embody positive change. An important part of her identity, it is rooted in her connection to nature, her sensitivity to energies, and in her own dreams. Even her decision to move to Cape Town, rather than somewhere else, was motivated by it: “Every time I thought of Cape Town it comes with positive energy and I heard a voice calling me to come here so I decided to follow my instinct.”[8] Before she chose the artistic path, her relationship with the metaphysical world drove her to engage in training to be a sangoma, until she realised that her destiny was fulfilled by art making. Rather than communicating with the ancestors that call to her in dreams through the more traditional practice of a sangoma, Chirrime instead believes that these ancestors use her creativity to “express whatever they need to say and tell their forgotten stories.”[9] Danielle Becker describes how this manifests through the artist’s work, which is “a spiritual practice that sees material as more than simply physical.”[10] Chirrime herself affirms that “My studio is my sanctuary, where I pray,”[11] and that “all the work that I do is about transforming.”[12] We see examples of this in her collages through the incorporation of symbols of transformation, though they may be abstracted and require a moment of contemplation from us — moons and water, feet and eyes. Chirrime describes her choice to depict water, an element that is in a constant state of change, in a number of pieces, including Sea Goddess (2016): “I always dream about the sea, and I pour out the symbols and shapes of my dreams onto my canvases.”[13] Feet, as seen in Flexible Mind (2018), are a symbol of movement both physical and emotional, “a calling for me to go somewhere, to do things, to leave the place, to not be in one place … Because you learn a lot, you enrich your soul, your being from moving from one place to another.”[14] As for the moon, that ancient symbol of fluctuating cycles, she says: “I always have an idea of the moon… It’s me, my energy.”[15]

Flexible Mind, 2018. Fabric collage and stitched leather rope on canvas, 124 x 163 cm. (Image courtesy of WorldArt Gallery)

The numinous nature of Chirrime’s work seems to be belied by the haptic materiality of her methodologies, which centre on very ordinary printed African fabrics usually manufactured to be sewn into clothing. She does not attempt to disguise or draw attention away from the textile as textile. This materiality, however, serves to augment the conceptual, spiritual and therapeutic nature of what she does. The aptness of her medium of choice becomes clear when two different aspects of Chirrime’s collages are explored. The first aspect is the complicated and problematic history of textiles in Africa, and how closely this is intertwined with identity, both personal and socio-cultural. The second is the cathartic aspect of physically making a work in which the artist painstakingly glues and laboriously stitches together fragments into a new whole. She explains, “I give life to dead stuff and love to everything around me.”[16]

“Textiles are ubiquitous,” points out textile researcher Jessica Hemmings.[17] We primarily experience them through our clothing and furnishings. Most of us would seldom go a day in our lives without interacting with some form of cloth. Chirrime herself remarks that “fabric is the first thing you encounter when you are born. They cover you with fabric.”[18] While their unthinking familiarity may render them almost invisible, they in fact structure “many of the networks that make up contemporary communication”[19] and are made up of many interwoven systems of meaning and value, within the overlapping spheres of production, trade, design and fashion. In an African context, this is all profoundly complicated by colonial history.   

The fabrics most used by Chirrime are brightly coloured traditional African fabrics, often sourced from the fabric shop close-by her Observatory studio in Cape Town, where she easily obtains off-cuts from the owner.[20] Two primary choices for the artist are shweshwe (which is South African) or capulana (Mozambican), selected not only for their aesthetic qualities and accessibility, but also for the layers of meaning woven into them by virtue of their history and design, and how these are connected to identity politics. Shweshwe is a popular fabric whose pattern is historically produced through a dyed discharge method, which uses weak acid to remove colour, leaving a delicate pattern of white dots and lines. A capulana (the term for both a particular piece of cut cloth, and the style of fabric the piece is made of) is produced primarily through wax printing, where resin is used to resist print bold patterns (though, as with shweshwe, both are today also manufactured with screen or digital printing). These are familiar cotton fabrics found in a variety of designs and colours, used in the region principally for clothing. Chirrime comments, “If you go to Mozambique, where I come from, you’ll see that women adorn themselves with these beautiful printed African fabrics, as a sign of pride.”[21] Their sturdiness and beauty make them an attractive and obvious choice for many people to wear, but “they are so many other things: identity markers, symbols of love, means of communication and archives of history and memories.”[22] However quotidian these materials are, they are very intricate to parse textually.

Lizette Chirrime
Detail of an unknown work, 2017.

Many fabrics which are viewed as traditionally African in design, and perhaps seen as representative of an African state of being or African concerns, are notably not African in origin, complicating the notion of what it means to be African, and underlining the far-reaching effects of colonialism. Both shweshwe and capulanas were brought to the continent by colonists via trade with the East. Shweshwe, originally only blue and white in colour, arrived in South Africa with German missionaries who settled in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in the 1850s. It “has had many influences e.g.  Arabs, Phoenicians, Indians, Dutch, Chinese, Mormons and Germans.”[23] The fabric was “imported from Europe to meet the demand of the German settler women. Consequently, by the 19th century, Xhosa women had gradually replaced their animal skin garment with the cotton ones. Young women who were educated at mission stations began to dress in European style dresses.”[24] Shweshwe was only produced in South Africa starting in the 1980s (and is still manufactured by the same company, Da Gama).[25]

An account of capulana production — without requiring insight into the fabric’s visual language — reflects the history of Mozambique, shifting in line with the country’s economy, independence, and war. Imported initially as a finished product from Southeast Asia, capulanas were subsequently made in colonising Portugal using cotton grown in Mozambique thanks to the favourable climate and an “abundant labour force … coerced into forced production.”[26] The textiles were only manufactured in Mozambique itself towards the end of the colonial era. A range of shortages caused by the country’s fight for independence in the 1960s and 70s meant that these finished products were exported in exchange for currency. A more stable political climate meant production for local markets arose again during the 1980s — but with changes to trade and banking policies required by organisations like the World Bank, the Mozambican textile factories were compelled to close, the industry devolving to the export of raw materials.[27] With the demand for capulanas not lessening, however, the finished product was once again imported from Southeast Asia and, this time, China.[28] Richard Acquaye describes how, in the early twentieth century, a similarly punitive process had occurred in West Africa: “Faced with a shortage of raw cotton for their mills and a resistant African market, European merchants flooded the region with cheap cotton sheeting while colonial governments levied high taxes on locally made cloth.”[29] Tunde M. Akinwumi offers another example: a textile merchant from Manchester, Charles Beving, travelled around Africa in the mid-twentieth century, collecting samples of traditional textiles produced by hand. He returned to the United Kingdom and incorporated elements of the designs he had taken into fabric produced in the UK by machine, to be exported back to Africa.[30] These regurgitated designs, created by a British man to be seen as ‘African’, would likely have been created without much understanding of the cultural context and history the original textiles arose from — and with no compensation for the intellectual property. These examples, and others, all speak to an erasure of African identities as well as a manipulation of African affairs by outside forces — to the detriment of locals.[31]

Despite their origins, the fabrics Chirrime uses have become synonymous with Southern Africa. They draw on traditional local motifs — such as a cow or crocodile’s eye, a Basotho hat, or the pattern of a guinea fowl — and are even used as a symbol of anti-colonial defiance. The fabrics can also memorialise historical events of patriotic importance. For example, after the death of Albertina Sisulu in 2011, local manufacturers Da Gama designed a shweshwe pattern depiciting Sisulu to “commemorate her life and contribution to South African political freedom.”[32] Nelson Mandela is a popular choice, and Chirrime includes fabric with his image in her Untitled 4 (2016). Chirrime, aware of the materials’ convoluted histories, says: “For a very long time, however, Africans have embraced this kind of printed cloth as our own, and as an important part of our culture.”[33] This assimilation is informed by the fact that “after decades of colonial rule, accompanied by a powerful Western influence in every aspect of culture, including dress, fashion has become a medium for the visible expression of pride and African identity.”[34] What Akinwumi describes as a “cultural re-awakening” in postcolonial African nations in the 1960s and onwards drove African designers to produce textiles for a newly-proud market desirous of items which they could use to reflect a sense of, while not untainted, at least self-created cultural identity.[35] Such adaptation’s purpose goes far beyond the practical.

Lizette Chirrime
Untitled 4, 2016. Fabric collage and leather rope on canvas, 107 x 157 cm (Image courtesy of the artist)

Chirrime has thorough understanding of how dress ties to identity processes, is capable of expressing individuality and belonging, as well as impacting experiences. She is, as an extension of her fine art practice, a clothing designer. The outfits she creates, which she describes as “wild clothes!”,[36] are a way of expressing herself to others in a manner not determined by outside influences. By selling her creations, she allows others to have the same opportunity (with an emphasis on uniqueness and sustainability). While she does admit “that’s what kept me going financially,” she goes on to explain that the “passion lives on, so I will always have a close allegiance to the role of clothes in my life and my art.”[37] She even uses the terminology of fashion in considering her fine art practice: “I draw a lot and after drawing I dress the drawing with colourful fabrics and sewing,”[38] she says, and “My work is a process of dressing these spirits, bringing them to life and giving them form [my emphasis].”[39] In addition to her wall-mounted fabric collages, she has created dramatic robes to adorn mannequins as well as herself, as part of performances pieces — also composed of collaged pieces of African fabrics. One example, shown at Gallery Momo in Cape Town, is titled The layers of my soul (2017). This clearly indicates Chirrime’s sense of self and dress as fused.

"Layers of My Soul", Lizette Chirrime.
Layers of my Soul, 2017. Fabric collage on mannequin, 385 cm height. (Image courtesy of Gallery MOMO)

Whether hand-sewn or shop-bought, chosen or assigned, the language of clothing expresses a wide range of markers, from gender and class to opportunity and belonging (religious, tribal, social or even political).  Signe Arnfred and Maria Paula Meneses explain that:

Identities are produced through social processes that create differences, including aesthetic distinctions. To dress is in itself part of a process of socio-cultural differentiation … Far from being static, identity processes are in a state of constant change and may serve as a window through which to analyse how societies are interpreted and represented.[40]

The intricate narratives of fashion make for a multivalent art-making medium which is conveniently visual as well as relatable. As such, fashion as a tool for socio-cultural expression and self-determination has become the focus for a number of fine artists in Africa and the diaspora. These artists, including Chirrime, use clothing and fabric as conceptually rich devices to question the making of identity and culture in an African or Black context. Some, such as Omar Victor Diop, Kehinde Wiley and Mickalene Thomas, subvert classical western portraiture tropes with their images portraying subjects who redefine Africanness or Blackness for themselves through their choice of dress, pose and backdrop. Others, like Yinka Shonibare, Lawrence Lemoana and Siwa Mgoboza, focus on fabrics such as Dutch wax print and shweshwe and the forces that formed them. Nobukho Nqaba and Mary Sibande use uniforms assigned to roles filled mostly by Black people in South Africa due to racial discrimination, such as physical labourers’ blue overalls and domestic workers’ dresses. For Sibande, this is a “celebration of the hard work, strength, love, hope, and imagination that carried so many black South African women — her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother included — through apartheid South Africa, a testament to the power of the imagination as a way through which one is able to master their own narrative, despite the odds.”[41] Nqaba uses the distinctive blue outfits, often in honour of her father (a migrant worker), to “commemorate the invisible men and women, such as those who worked in the silos and farms, from whose labour we daily benefit.”[42] Allowing for “embedded stories” to “become housed in the materials,”[43] the fabrics themselves which clothes are made from serve as a visual short-hand to communicate with. Chirrime’s hessian, for example, references trade routes around Africa and the rest of the world. The checkered pattern of the ‘China bag’ used by a number of artists, including Nobukho Nqaba, stands for migration around the continent. 

At the core of much of these artists’ work with fashion or fabric is the idea of hybridity (a term initially generated by postcolonial scholar Homi K. Bhabha), employed often by British Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare to remark on the composite nature of identity in the postcolonial world. Fabric, with its interwoven strands, is in its very construction the perfect metaphor for hybridity. Lawrence Lemoana speaks of the use of the kanga (an East African version of the capulana) in his work: “Kangas are used for many purposes, including as communication device. The kanga has decorative patterns and motifs. It usually has a text that functions as an idiom. The idioms are constantly changing and owe their being to contemporary lingua franca and fashionable phrases.”[44] Such complexity, which lies in a single everyday object, defies a simplistic understanding of African identity. While we may try to unravel it, “the peril of the dangling thread lies precisely in its inextricable relation to the whole.”[45]

It is within the notion of hybridity that the transformative and healing power of Chirrime’s work lies. Beyond complexity, central to the concept of hybridity is agency and self-determination, “because it breaks down the symmetry and duality of self/other, inside/outside” and is capable of “lifting the veil on identity’s permanent polymorphosity.”[46] It is perhaps not surprising that she speaks of imagining herself as a mermaid[47] — a creature that is neither one thing or another, but a chimera. As identity is revealed to be a woven mesh of strands rather than a single thread, Chirrime is able to challenge a one-dimensional, unambiguous view of the self. “I wanted to change myself,” she says, “and change how people saw me.”[48] Her composite arrangements indicated the myriad influences on identity, and her use of anthropomorphic abstraction acknowledges uncertainty, where absolutes are fluid. Through collage, she reimagines how something — like an identity — is constructed, reshaping cultural and personal templates and opening pathways of possibility. Her “idea of collaging different print fabrics from different cultures is about bringing things together — about reconnecting — stitching and healing the wounds.”[49]

If Chirrime’s medium of choice speaks to the reclamation of identity, her method speaks to the healing of a damaged psyche. In much the same way that fabric stands for identity in the work of a textile artist, it also stands for skin (enhanced by its soft, malleable and permeable texture), “a frontier between the self and non-self.”[50] To work with fabric-as-skin is to acknowledge how our inner world is affected by the outer. Marc la France remarks that we “all search for second skins when we feel that either our physical or mental boundaries require reinforcement.”[51]

Chirrime’s collages are made up of many small scraps of cloth, tessellated with glue against a backdrop of usually monochromatic canvas or other fabric substrate. The larger shapes formed by the pieces are often composed of a single colour or range of similar hues. Outlining the figures is a strand of leather rope, stitched carefully to the surface to give definition. Hers is a very time-consuming process — from sourcing and selecting the fabrics, cutting them into carefully shaped pieces, affixing each to the canvas and stitching the borders by hand. Chirrime explains her persistence in using this tactile method rather than switching to faster machine-made work: “I cut it up because I like spending time with the process of creating an artwork. I like to feel it and get involved in it. The cutting up is part of giving of myself and my time to the artwork.”[52] Pennina Barnett describes the process of working like this with fabric:

It’s often maligned and undervalued within art practice as ‘women’s work’, conceived as slow, repetitive and undemanding. But this is a deep misunderstanding. Rather than see ‘slow’ as negative, we might think of the need for deliberation and measure, of slowing time, making time; and of the ways in which the feel of the cloth — the fragility of organdy, the stiffness of heavily worked linen — and the repetitive action of hand sewing might work upon both soma and psyche.[53]

While sewing does function as a metaphor for repair, there is evidence that this physical interaction with textiles itself stimulates a mental or emotional response. A study by Collier and Von Karolyi shows that “arousal and engagement in textile activities accurately predicted textile rejuvenation, or longer-term improved mood.”[54] The two-handed actions required add “an element of bilateral stimulation, used by many therapists when working with trauma survivors.”[55] Through dedicating so much time to physical engagement with an artwork, it becomes a psychological object in itself, beyond the imagery portrayed on its surface. Whether snipping or sewing, the repetitive process allows Chirrime to access an inner state. This gives rise to a form of projection, where the work of joining and repairing allows the artist to access the psyche in order to process complex or difficult emotions.

Lizette Chirrime.
Lizette Chirrime in studio, 2018 (Image courtesy of Dwayne Senior / The Belgian Beer

Though made of soft material, the work of Lizette Chirrime is the product of a strong woman, deeply determined to overcome the difficulties she faces. The traumas of her early life have been followed by the challenges of being a single mother, as well as severe health issues in recent months. The purpose of creating art, for her, is not to avoid these difficulties, but to reimagine their meaning and so reimagine herself. Her compelling use of her medium epitomises vulnerability as well as adaptability. By providing her viewers with a parallel narrative based on something so close to our shared everyday existence — fabric — her work encourages conversations and contemplation. Cloth’s relationship to our bodies means that “like skin it is always there. It is where we find ourselves.”[56]

Lena Sulik is a curator, writer and designer who ended up in the artworld accidentally. Her main interests are women in the arts, textiles and the ways in which those behind the scenes can help artists articulate their own visions.


[1] Louise Bourgeois quoted in ModeArte. Though perhaps apocryphal, this quotation from Louise Bourgeois draws attention to the many similarities between these two determined women artists: both experienced traumatic childhoods due to their family situation, moved countries, and use their art-making to process and heal their hurts. ‘Louise Bourgeois,’ ModeArt (2017):

[2] Chirrime explains: ‘There are old stories of mermaid sightings from Mwuve Island in Nampula province and Angoche Archipelago in Mozambique, where my family comes from and where I grew up.’ In Louise McCann, ‘Dreaming and Feeling with Lizette Chirrime’. (Between 10and5, 2016), Available: Accessed 14 January 2021.

[3] Lizette Chirrime quoted in Sara Moneer Khan, ‘Ancestral Invocations: Lizette Chirrime explores community, femininity and spiritual connections’, Art Africa (December 2018), 110.

[4] Lizette Chirrime quoted in Mary Corrigall, ‘Bright “Sounds of a Free Soul”’, Cape Times (14 September, 2016), 11.

[5] Lizette Chirrime quoted in Corrigall, ‘Bright “Sounds of a Free Soul”’, 11.

[6] Chirrime’s first solo exhibition in 2004 was titled, simply yet elegantly, Metamorfosa de saco (Metamorphosis of Sacks). It took place at the Associação Moçambicano de Fotografie (MMF) in Maputo, Mozambique.

[7] Elizabeth Manchester, ‘Sewing: Louise Bourgeois’. Tate: Accessed 5 January 2021.

[8] Lizette Chirrime quoted in ‘Perspectives: Lizette Chirrime’, Adjective (2016): Accessed 17 January 2021.

[9] Lizette Chirrime quoted in Khan, ‘Ancestral Invocations’, 110.

[10] Danielle Becker, ‘My Third Eye: Excerpts from a conversation with Lizette Chirrime’, Third Text Africa, 5 (2018): 121.

[11] Becker, ‘My Third Eye’, 110.

[12] Lizette Chirrime quoted in McCann, ‘Dreaming and Feeling’.

[13] Lizette Chirrime quoted in Louise McCann, ‘Lizette Chirrime at 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair | London’. Between 10 and 5 (2016):

[14] Lizette Chirrime quoted in Adjective, ‘Perspectives’.

[15] Becker, ‘My Third Eye,’ 115.

[16] Lizette Chirrime quoted in ‘Creative Soul, Cape Town, South Africa’, WOWWoman: Accessed 17 January 2021.

[17] Jessica Hemmings, ‘Textile Theory: Do we need it?’, The Seventh ICDHS Conference Design and Craft: a History of Convergences and Divergences, eds Javier Gimeno-Martinez & Fredie Floré (Brussells: 2010), 1.

[18] Lizette Chirrime quoted in Keely Shinners, ‘Art harmonious: An interview with Lizette Chirrime’, ASAI (2019):

[19] Hemmings, ‘Textile Theory’, 1.

[20] While the choice to use offcuts and recycle found materials might be informed by sensible financial concerns, another important motivation for Chirrime’s choice is environmental concerns: “The earth is like a garden which we have been given and we need to take care of it. I have always been conscious about nature and the environment.” Quoted in Linda Fekisi, ‘Feeding Our Souls One Artist at a Time’, The Journalist (2015): Accessed 17 January 2021.

[21] Lizette Chirrime quoted in McCann, ‘Lizette Chirrime at 1:54’.

[22] Signe Arnfred and Maria Paula Meneses, ‘Mozambican Capulanas: Tracing Histories and Memories’, in Mozambique on the Move: Challenges and Reflections, eds Maria Paula Meneses, Sheila Pereira Khan & Bjørn Enge Bertelsen (Leiden: Brill, 2018), 186.

[23] Baatshwana Pheto-Moeti, Dorothy M. Riekert and André J. Pelser, ‘Perceptions of Seshoeshoe Fabric: Naming and meanings of motifs on fabric’, Journal of Consumer Sciences, Special Edition: Diversifying clothing research in Southern Africa 2 (2017), 28.

[24] Pheto-Moeti, Riekert and Pelser, ‘Perceptions of Seshoeshoe Fabric’, 25.

[25] Pheto-Moeti, Riekert and Pelser, ‘Perceptions of Seshoeshoe Fabric’, 25.

[26] Arnfred and Maneses, ‘Mozambican Capulanas’, 190.

[27] Richard Acquaye, ‘Exploring Indigenous West African Fabric Design in the Context of Contemporary Global Commercial Production’ (PhD diss., Winchester School of Art, University of South Hampton, 2018), 25.

[28] Arnfred and Maneses, ‘Mozambican Capulanas’, 190 – 192.

[29] Acquaye, ’Exploring Indigenous West African Fabric Design’, 25.

[30] Tunde M. Akinwumi, ‘The “African Print” Hoax: Machine produced textiles jeopardize African print authenticity’, The Journal of Pan African Studies 2, no. 5 (2008): 183.

[31] The Dutch company Vlisco is often mentioned in discussions around textile appropriation – they are ‘inspired by Africa’ in their own words and speak about their popularity in African markets. Yet the company and its intellectual property are not African-owned. See ‘About Vlisco’, Vlisco (2017):

[32] Pheto-Moeti, Riekert and Pelser, ‘Perceptions of Seshoeshoe Fabric’, 2528 – 29.

[33] Lizette Chirrime quoted in McCann, ‘Dreaming and Feeling’.

[34] Acquaye, ’Exploring Indigenous West African Fabric Design’, 32.

[35] Akinwumi, ‘The “African Print” Hoax’, 184.

[36] Lizette Chirrime quoted in McCann, ‘Dreaming and Feeling’.

[37] Lizette Chirrime quoted in McCann, ‘Dreaming and Feeling’.

[38] Lizette Chirrime quoted in ‘Lizette Chirrime: Yellowoods Art,’ Art Africa: Special Feature / 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London 2016 (September 2016), 31.

[39] Lizette Chirrime quoted in ‘Lizette Chirrime’, Habitat (March/April 2017), 151.

[40] Arnfred and Maneses, ‘Mozambican Capulanas’, 187.

[41] ‘Mary Sibande’, Zeitz MOCAA (2017):

[42] ‘Zeitz MOCAA Presents Izicwangciso Zezethu… By Nobukho Nqaba’, Zeitz MOCAA (2019): Accessed 30 January 2021.

[43] Basil Kincaid interviewed by Rikki Byrd, ‘Fashioning the Black Body Artist Talk’, Barrett Barrera Projects (2019): Accessed 16 January 2021.

[44] Lawrence Lemoana quoted in Christa Dee, ‘Lawrence Lemoana: Thread Histories, Textual Subversions’, Artskop (2020):

[45] Angelique Szymanek, ‘Haptic Encounters: Margarita Cabrera’s Space Between‘, Art Journal 79, no. 3 (2020): 

[46] Homi K. Bhabha quoted in Philip Leonard, Nationality Between Poststructuralism and Postcolonial Theory: A New Cosmopolitanism, (UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005), 135.

[47] Lizette Chirrime quoted in McCann, ‘Lizette Chirrime at 1:54’.

[48] Lizette Chirrime quoted in Corrigall, ‘Bright “Sounds of a Free Soul”’, 11.

[49] Lizette Chirrime quoted in Nadia Sesay, ‘How Healing and the Subconscious United the Four Artists of the Nando’s and Yellowwoods Art Collaboration’, 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair (2016): Accessed 16 January 2021.

[50] Elizabeth Wilson quoted in Heidi Kellett, ‘Skin Portraiture: Embodied Representations in Contemporary Art’ (PhD diss., University of Western Ontario, 2017), 112.

[51] Marc la France quoted in Amy Kathryn Watson, ‘Complexion: Skin, surface and depth in contemporary art practice’, (MFA diss., University of the Witwatersrand, 2010), 8.

[52] Lizette Chirrime quoted in McCann, ‘Dreaming and Feeling’.

[53] Pennina Barnett, ‘Cloth, Memory and Loss’ In ART_TEXTILES, ed. Jennifer Harris (Manchester: The Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, 2015), 2.

[54] Lisa Raye Garlock, ‘Stories in the Cloth: Art Therapy and Narrative Textiles’, Art Therapy, 33, no. 2 (2016): 61.

[55] Garlock, ‘Stories in the Cloth’, 60.

[56] Barnett, ‘Cloth, Memory and Loss’, 5.