Artist Profiles

Artist:

African Eyes

Region:

Africa

Country:

South Africa

Media/General:

Jewelry - nonmetal

Medium of Work:

Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings

Year(s) Attended:

Santa Fe: 2018

About:

Edwin Konde and Laura Efron are the artistic duo behind Cape Town, South Africa-based collective African Eyes. Together, they are building an interdisciplinary, multi-traditional jewelry project. By merging Andean weaving traditions with indigenous South African methods, Efron and Konde create strikingly modern, beautifully wearable rope necklaces and other woven jewelry.

Konde learned traditional means of beading, weaving, and other art-making skills when he was growing up, and Efron, too, was always drawn to creative practices, which led her to Peru to learn traditional South American weaving methods. African Eyes produces work based on Amandebele beadwork patterns, Amashona sculptural shapes, and Quechua knotting and weaving. Amashona people are indigenous to South Africa, and the Amandebele people arrived there in the 1800s. The Amandebele bead work is a traditional art based on colors, geometry and patterns that have different meanings and transmit different values and information.

Amashona stone sculptures are over 1,000 years old and have sacred meaning. The Quechua knotting system is considered by many experts to be the first type of Native American writing system, used by the people to “take notes” and keep records of everyday life.

Since 2016, Efron and Konde have been designing their distinctive rope jewelry. In the future, they plan to provide training and creative workshops in their community of Cape Town, and also in Harare.