Friday, December 04, 2009

Noah's Ark arrives in Needham

I am so impressed by the generosity of our patients and their family members. Here is a tapestry from South Africa, entitled "Noah's Ark", that was given to our community hospital in Needham from a grateful family. Here's the story behind it:

The artist, Alexa Kirsten, was born in South Africa to a British mother and a South African father. She grew up in the Hogsback in the eastern cape, a rugged mountainous area. Alexa's cloths have found homes all over the world. She notes:

"All the years at Hogsback and the years in the bush and now living near the sea and the mountains, all these things have influenced me. I love color and find great solace in it. A friend and I started a little screen printing business 30 years ago. We printed lengths of cloth. I found it too tedious and eventually branched out on my own and started painting tablecloths. I have lost count of all the cloths that I have made, I would estimate close on 1000 by now after all these years."

You can see more on this website. Dan Siagal from Capetown Trader tells me: "In 2005 Alexa was assaulted, stabbed repeatedly in the back and left for dead on the floor of her neighbor’s house. She had a near-death experience and feels that she touched the face of God. After having to learn to walk again she has continued with her fabric art; however, it has changed and become more vibrant and meaningful. The colors are brighter and the pictures clearer and stronger. She draws solace from her work. It has been a huge part of her recovering and therapy. She would like to share her work as an encouragement to the struggling, depressed and sad people of the world.

"Cloth Art images are hand-drawn, hand painted, original artworks of African images caught on cloth. Decorated with enchanting scenes drawn from African life, each one is individually hand painted. Inspiration is drawn from the accumulated cultural diversity of today and of a time altogether more ancient. Scenes may include a combination of animals, villages, the breathtaking African night sky, or whatever the artist chooses; no two are exactly alike, but each is a brightly-painted delight. The colors are bold and cheerful. They evoke a childlike perspective, full of wonder and smiles, celebrating life under the South African sky. Some tell a story such as Noah’s Ark."

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