Zimbabwe, South Africa, 2023
Design Marigold Beadwork Co-operative & Joni Brenner

Marigold Beads 5 - programma
Marigold Beads 4 - programma
Marigold Beads 3 - programma
Marigold Beads 2 - programma
Marigold Beads 1 - programma
previous arrow
next arrow
The Afrovibes 2023 theme is Liquid Traces. It refers to the ocean and water as a site of violence and trauma as well as a means of healing. The Atlantic and Indian Oceans were sites of vast displacement of peoples, slavery and the extraction of people and goods. In many African traditions too, the oceans and water are also material for healing, for fluidity, for cleansing rituals and regeneration. The depths and shifting form of the ocean and its conjoining of cultures find a powerful expression in the Oceanic Marigold Beads

The Oceanic Marigols Beads is an arts project from the Marigold Beadwork Co-operative from Zimbabwe in collaboration with South African artist Joni Brenner and Wit’s University’s Oceanic Humanities for the Global South (OHGS) project. The Oceanic Marigold Beads bring to live the vast range of colours of the ocean, not just blue and green, but also the shades of sand, surf, kelp, the open sea, and the red, purple and black of the deepest ocean. In African beads hold significance because of their history as currency during times of colonialism and their representational functions in African and African diaspora societies. Their many forms serve profound symbolic functions, from markings of status to the intimacies of the Zulu love letters.

The relationship between solid beads and liquidity is resolved in the skill of distribution of colours that indicate shallowness and depth, the fading in and out of colours that ebb and flow in perpetuity. The hard materiality of the beads is threaded and choreographed to intuit liquidity. The Marigold project is significant for producing artwork through a collective and in its leaning into research with environment, history and decoloniality.

It is the sensual shimmer of the beads that puts us in touch with the history of African beadwork and with the ocean, with its histories of slavery and violence as well as its capacity to cleanse and heal. An artwork that is born out of, and leaves, liquid traces.


Design and production: Marigold Beadwork Co-operative
Joni Brenner, visual artist
Isabel Hofmeyr, Oceanic Humanities for the Global South

Wed 4 t/m Sun 8 Oct, 18H00- 23H00
free admission
Wed 11 t/m Sun 15 Oct, 12H00- 24H00
free admission