Biddew Shell Accent Framed Textile
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Johanna Bramble's work combines a modern aesthetic with traditional textile weaving. The artist, a Senegalese designer, is passionate about preserving time-honored weaving methods. She has a strong contemporary curiosity, leading her to incorporate new materials into her creations. This allows her to work through heritage textiles to reveal new insights.
Bramble believes weaving is a universal language. Here, her work is exhibited inside out to reveal the process of making. The Senegalese weaving technique Bramble employs is rare today - shared with few other countries in the world. It requires two people and meticulous execution. One weaver, the apprenti, assists the other. Coordination between the two allows for the creation of elaborate patterns, such as the hexagon motifs on this piece. This approach is the precursor for mechanized Jacquard weaving that is common today.
Woven textiles, or serru rabal in the Wolof language, are the most cared for objects in a Senegalese home. They are treasured by women who dress their fabrics with incense. These textiles, loaded with symbolic meaning, are presented at specific moments in life, from birth to death. Even today, serru rabal are used as a shield against evil. Bramble's contemporary pattern displays the hexagon - a symbol of wisdom, life, and health present in Islamic, Christian, and Judaic history. Bramble created both the positive and negative versions of this symbol to reinforce the idea of unity and complementarity, much like the concept of yin-yang in Eastern thought.