Exhibition opening at Radius Books studio


Radius Books presents Nature, new directions in wire art by Marisa Fick-Jordaan with masterpieces of Zulu copper and telephone wire weaving, curated by David Arment. These handwoven South African baskets combine modern materials with the traditional, highly sought after weaving skills of the Zulu people, creating some of the world’s most collectable basketry.

Inspired by natural forms and giving free reign to her imagination, and the interplay between exterior and interior, Marisa Fick-Jordaan has conceptualized and designed a series of plant, bird, animal, and insect three-dimensional forms. Constructed from her preferred medium of PVC-coated copper and galvanized wire, in techniques developed over many years, these are assembled to create unique, large-scale, one-of-a-kind sculptural wall pieces and vessels.

Marisa Fick-Jordaan is the co-author of Wired, the authoritative work on Zulu wire art. Working with skilled African artists, she has brought this art form to the world, developing products and building a distribution network for an international market. Her efforts have helped to preserve a traditional art form and provide a sustainable cultural industry in Zululand.

Included in this show are works by the Mdukatshani crafters of the hills of Msinga, one of South Africa’s poorest and most arid areas, and until fairly recently, the center of the gun trade in South Africa. In a community overwhelmed by violence, AIDS, and a deadly, drug-resistant form of Tuberculosis, Msinga crafters work from home, sharing loss as well as laughter. In many instances, these crafters are the breadwinners in their families, supporting many livelihoods. Nearly half are widows, observing their three year mourning period. This time is a long, lonely period when handcraft becomes a lifeline for them. More than work, their craft is an expression of spirit and hope.