Printmaking and performance art involving needlework were Colleen’s original passion but the dark nature of the work began to take it’s toll.I found myself increasingly drawn to colour and texture in fabric and stitching, and particularly the textures of African fabrics such as handwoven, hand dyed indigo cloth. While sourcing fabrics I discovered the beautiful handmade beads of Africa and so the journey of African Baroque began.
It is surprisingly difficult to find quality African Beads. The untimely passing of Mr Sillah, bead merchant from Gambia has made this even more difficult. But there are still some to be found in and around Cape Town at various African markets.
I also use lots of authentic, colourful South African Shweshwe fabric to make my jewellery. Combined with raw silk, African waxprint and pure linen as well as found fabrics creates an eclectic cultural mix that is powerful and texturally rich.
In late 2021 I moved to a retirement complex in the rural village of Noordhoek where I continue to create these colourful and unusual adornments in my tiny cottage. I’m so grateful to women around the world but especially those close to me for the ongoing encouragement and support. Gratitude 🙏🏼