The StitchWorks brings together 14 artists to design prints inspired by the amazing fabric patterns we have scene in our travels to Africa, to raise money for two of our design/research/education projects. We partnered with Head Light Hotel Print Shop, Tiny Showcase Print Shop & Gallery, along with the artists to produce a series of print designs for paper and fabric. The project is designed to generate funding for GA Collaborative non-profit design projects and awareness of the role designers can play in effecting those in developing countries. All funds raised support GA Collaborative’s projects Le Maison de Masoro, and Jabana House. Both projects are located in the Rulindo district of Rwanda. Each project provides housing for one family and training in design and construction for the families’ community.
The Head Light Hotel, a print shop in Providence Rhode Island, produced a limited edition of 100 12” x 12” archival prints. Each print is now available through Tiny Showcase located in Providence, rhode Island and on their online shop. As early as 2005, Tiny Showcase introduced a new pricing structure where a percentage of each print sold would be donated to a charity chosen by the artist. We thought their gallery would be a perfect partnership for the StitchWorks project. 37.5% of the proceeds go to the Le Maison de Masoro (formerly Fund-a-House) project and the Jabana House project; 37.5% compensate the participating artists; and 25% to cover production and distribution costs. It is also the individual artist’s discretion to give more to the project, but it is entirely up to them.
African fabrics are famous for their playful and sometimes surreal subject matter. Examples include tree stumps with eyes; shoes with wheels for heels; spinning UFOs; dancing toothpaste tubes and lipstick containers and the list goes on and on. In Rwanda, there is only one textile factory; with most of their fabrics imported from Holland and China.
Although the actual product are not African, Rwandans still use them with very specific means, combining patterns and assembling pieces to make both traditional and modern clothing alike. The combination of vibrant colors, unusual subject matter and repetition of forms creates a unique image of Rwandan dress.
During elections, they print the faces of political candidates, and wear the individuals they support. They are worn as skirts, head wraps, scarves, blankets, accessories, and the wrapping and toting of babies and other objects on their backs. Fabric is present everywhere, useful and visible for all.
We worked with two great partners Head Light Hotel and TIny Showcase. For the first phase, the Head Light Hotel printed a limited edition run of 100, 12” X 12” prints on archival paper. Each print consists of a single pattern tile. The prints were launched on the Tiny Showcase website. (click an image to purchase).
With the fabric prints, produced as 36” X 60” sheets, we began an indiegogo campaign to fund completion of Le Maison de Masoro, and begin the second project - Jabana House.
With examples of current prints as a starting point we invited 14 artists (listed to the right) to design patterns for paper and fabric printing. The artist range in background: architecture, photography, illustration, sculpture, painting, performance, and music, bring that experience to their work. They examined the techniques of placing everyday images into geometric relationships with one another and breaking down familiar images into abstracted patterns. When duplicated across sheets of materials at various scales, the effect is one of estrangement, rendering the everyday as a landscape of shapes and colors. Click on their names to find out more about their work.
- 2012 - Present
- New York, New York USA
- Providence, Rhode Island USA
- Prints: 12" X 12"
- Fabrics: 36" X 60"
- Prints: $40 US
- Fabrics: donation
- Leighton Beaman
- Zaneta Hong
- James Setzler
- Yutaka Sho
- Association Icyerekezo
- Head Light Hotel Print Shop