As anyone who has received the current auto-reply on my email will know, the last few weeks have been very busy at Beloved. At the end of May we relocated our studio space back to Montebello. We have very much missed our two colleagues who have been on maternity leave (and fallen in love with their gorgeous babies, who thankfully are doing very well). Mado is back with us, and Esther will follow in July. Plans are afoot for our next catalogue, about which we are very excited. And, last but by no means least, Laurence and I went to Switzerland!
It was a trip of a lifetime for us. The Rietberg Museum in Zurich received the extraordinary gift of a large and varied beadwork collection, the Mottas Collection, and this has formed the basis of their current Perlkunst Aus Afrika (Bead Art from Africa) exhibition. To our great joy, they have also included our large beaded world map, Who Is The Artist?, in the exhibition, alongside work by two of our favourite South African artists - Ladumo Ngxokolo and Andrew Putter.
As well as being invited to attend the official opening and press meeting, we also had the privilege of conducting a workshop for the museum staff and a practical class for eight members of the public. I think it's fair to say that our participants left their class with a newfound admiration for bead artists. Learning beadwork is very taxing on your memory, fine motor, spacial reasoning and mathematical skills. We had a lot of fun introducing a lovely room of people to the brick stitch method, which is a very popular method in South Africa.
Entering the museum on the first day was an incredible experience. We completed our artwork last year in August, and since September 2017 it has been living in France, so we hadn't seen it for eight months. Imagine my joy, then, at descending the staircase at the Rietberg, and seeing our work hanging front and centre, and beautifully lit!
I would highly recommend a visit to the Rietberg website, or if you're lucky enough to be in Switzerland, to the museum itself! (You might even find some Beloved pieces for sale in the shop.) We were so warmly and kindly welcomed by the museum, and being there was an enormous honour.