Exhibition to portray Namibian Identity Through Textiles


WINDHOEK, JUNE 5 – The National Art Gallery of Namibia announced the exhibition ‘Namibian Identity Through Textiles’, which will officially open on 6 June 2019 at 18h00 at the NAGN.

The exhibition will be on display until 6 July 2019 in the NAGN’s Upper Gallery. Namibian Identity Through Textiles is a solo exhibition by Lynette Diergaardt, a Namibian textile and fibre artist that mostly practices in textiles and related mediums through elements of pattern, repetition, colour and visual texture.

She manipulates the surface of the cloth to visually communicate a concept that tells a much larger story than the cloth on its own. She explains that textile or fibre art connects in a way to the human spirit and mind by producing a symbolic connection through memory, heritage, artistic processes, and that this is what influences her work most.

About her most recent body of work she states: “I am working on a collection of prints in search of a Namibian identity through the elements of art, i.e. pattern, repetition, colour, visual texture. For as long as I’ve been a student and educator there has been a search for a Namibian identity post-apartheid; and perhaps inclusive, or even excluding, of international influences through media and imported products. For the past four years I have been on a journey of discovery, a discovery of who we are visually as Namibians in order to collect this data in the form of prints, large scale textile paintings, and a range of home products.”

The exhibition explores unique patterns that are derived from biological organisms collected around the artists’ environment. These objects were then drawn and turned into patterns by Diergaardt. She further expressed the importance of showing a larger Namibian Identity, explaining that in order to develop a holistic project it was important to show different drawing styles, so that the body of work could truly reflect Namibians.

Several workshops were offered in 2017 to any willing participant who shows an interest in drawing and pattern development; from which 10 participants’ prints were selected to conduct research. She then took the patterns in their various forms out to the public to get an insight into what they found was most appealing to them.

The patterns and colour variation that are on display are the most popular choices selected from these surveys. This body of work is an ongoing research process for Diergaardt. This exhibition is a chance for the viewers to give their input on what the Namibian Identity expressed in the exhibition communicates to them. Lynette has a Master’s degree in Fine Arts in Textiles from Kent State University.

Prior to that she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Textile Studies and Fashion Studies from the University of Namibia. The artist is a proud alumni of the Fulbright Scholarship program and has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions. She is currently a lecturer for Arts Education at the University of Namibia, Khomasdal Campus, Windhoek. Namibian Identity Through Textiles exhibition will be on display from 6th June – 6th July 2019 in the Upper Gallery of the National Art Gallery of Namibia. – NDN Staffer