Sunday, 29 January 2023

Textile Details

'Amandla!', by Elaine Barnard. (Photo: Dion Cuyler)
'Amandla!', by Elaine Barnard. (Photo: Dion Cuyler)


Title of Textile:Amandla!
Maker: Elaine Barnard
Country of Origin: South Africa
Year Produced: 2014
Size (cm): 76cm x 76cm
Materials: Cotton and polyester fabric; appliquéd, hand quilted and freestyle machine embroidered
Type of Textile: Story Cloth

Elaine, inspired and overwhelmed by the sight of Nelson Mandela leaving Victor Verster prison on 11 February 1990, shares her motivation for creating Amandla! (2013-2014):

“I grew up in South Africa under apartheid. We were never allowed to see any image of Mandela. The very first time I saw him… was when he walked out of Victor Verster prison, raising his fist above his head. That fist was what I wanted to portray in my quilt – freedom! Amandla!”

She explains her choice of colours: “…I used the colours of our national flag to symbolize our rainbow nation after the release of Mandela.”

The words quoted by Mandela in his inaugural address in 1994, circling the centre of the image, convey the sense of hope, possibility and powerful potential of this new era in South African politics:

‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us...”

Williamson, M., (1992).

Owner: Michigan State University Museum collection
Location: ​Michigan ​S​tate ​University ​ Museum
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Dion Cuyler

Textile exhibited at: Textile Accounts of Conflicts, 17/11/2014 - 18/11/2014
Textile Accounts of Conflicts, 6/02/2015 - 7/03/2015
Macht mit anstatt Macht über: Widerstand für eine gerechte Welt ist möglich!, 9/09/2021 - 9/09/2021

Textile Detail Image(s)