Category Archives: Angle

Silky Dip with Billie Zangewa

Just when you think there’s not much left to be explored in the world, something amazing happens here.

This time

Billie Zangewa’s work left The Purple Frog spellbound. So, decided to think about her art. Spent some time going through the images of her intricate work and figured it is all fabric that she works with, to be more precise, silk.

It turned out that

A large number of art lovers are glued and stare at her work just like The Purple Frog does. Her admirers are not just in Johannesburg where she lives but all over the world. Upon more research, The Purple Frog found that her art falls under the broad spectrum of Textile Art, a space that has a few more diligent artists whose work stuns you as much as it puts you in awe of the artwork, from concept to creation.

The Purple Frog spoke to Billie Zangewa

To understand how she uses a medium like textile to not just create something beautiful but also to express what she feels strongly about. One of the many things her art proudly displays is her femininity.

Since it is all about falling in love with MAKING here (this time with a cause), The Purple Frog even asked her for a DIY and a start point for anyone who wants to get into Textile Art.

But first,

See for yourself the silky sheen of her art work (tapestries), the meticulously sewn patches, delicately created images with fabric that reflect her own domestic, intimate life which she finds empowering.

The Purple Frog | Billie Zangewa

The Purple Frog | Billie Zangewa

The Purple Frog

The Purple Frog | Silky Dip with Billie Zangewa

The Purple Frog | Silky Dip with Billie Zangewa

How she got into fabric art and that too silk,

She says it was inevitable as she had always been interested in fabric, hand sewing as well as rich textured surfaces. Having grown up in a setting where there were no artists’ studios and no printing press, she learned to make do with what was available. In that journey of “lack and necessity” silk chose her, or how she likes to put it – “to cut a long story short, I believe that I was led to silk. I came to using silk very organically and over a long period of time.”

Did she ever think her work will garner such popularity and love…

Goodness, no! The only thing I hoped for was that I could give up the other jobs that I was doing to pay the bills so that I could focus on my creativity. That happened for me eventually and it was such a personal achievement for me. The rest is really like a fairy tale experience and I feel blessed and humbled by it.

Her favorite places to go to gather raw materials and tools for artworks? 

A shop here in Joburg called Fiona’s and I love it because there are so many different kinds of fabrics under one roof. Soho in London and the Fashion District in NYC.

 Now for all those who are feeling inspired, some tips from Billie

Enjoy yourself, is really all I have to say. There are so many fabrics and techniques that there is so much room for individual self-expression. If you don’t know where to start, join a sewing class and start from there.

And yes, be prepared to work anywhere from 2 to 16 hours.

For her it depends on whether she has a deadline or not. No matter how much she doesn’t enjoy the 16 hours working day, she says, “but, it happens.”

So here is a DIY project Billie thinks anybody can try and from experience she says, it is an extremely satisfying exercise.

It is not related to textile as such, but I urge anyone who wishes to try it, to duplicate a favorite item of clothing that is too worn to wear anymore. Use the old item as the pattern and sew it by hand. Keep it simple. And then enjoy your work by wearing it.

Well, she is right there.

Wearing what you make or carrying what you create is enthralling.

See here in Things This Week

Two pieces The Purple Frog made a few weeks back. One is now a framed piece of art, the other a sturdy, denim-meets-butter yarn bag  going through everyday grind of carrying stuff.

The Purple Frog | Fabric wall art

The Purple Frog

The Purple Frog

Textile art is vast and almost limitless in its scope of work. Many people who practice it have set the bar extremely high in terms of the diligence it requires to work with fiber. There are some during the course of exploring Billie Zangewa’s work that The Purple Frog came across.

Hope to share more stories of inspiration soon.

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Blemished For Nothing

Once The Purple Frog met a very beautiful, successful Finance Girl who was scared as hell of her mum and dad to live a good personal life of her choice…Also, she constantly lived in the guilt of the reputation her marital status – single at 33 – brought them.

She tried to always justify all their complaints with a smile and hid all her desires by believing at least she gets food cooked by someone else and doesn’t have to enter the kitchen. Lol. She eventually earned a good reputation at large for being such an understanding child to her parents and an independent, single woman waiting for the right man to happen.

At the same place

There was another pretty girl, pretty angry too (stress-blemished), often mocked for her man-like demeanour and for not taking it easy on certain subjects. She had not given in. Denied the life she was offered and seemed to battle it out. Often by stating what was on her mind and trying to do what she deemed fit for herself.

The Finance Girl led a life of great reputation, doing a lot of things in the hiding but never tried to take a stand for what she desired. On the other hand, the other girl was labelled a rebel because she did what she wanted. As a result, her life wasn’t pretty anymore and she was losing the coyness and the sweetness of the girly kind with which she too started her life.

In fact, situations became extra-harsh for her on most occasions because she put up a bold stand in necessary situations and as a result, people expected boldness from her where it wasn’t even required to struggle.

Without realising, her life turned into this battle. From long hair to cropped hair, she was questioned for even simpler things and without even realising she was called a Fierce Feminist. The real joys no more remained and her life became harder.

However, eventually, when one looked around her,

She had paved way for many to feel the real joys. She opened the way. She filled the gaps that contradictory growth areas create. She brought the term modern to life in mindsets. Often people find it easy to live modernity through costly gold-rimmed phones and new cuisines and recipes.  She brought honesty to the fore.  All that was honestly normal for a human to do…

When someone criticised the Feminist Girl for her blemishes and manliness or nothing sexy / appealing about her to The Purple Frog, all it had to say was…she took the burns of the fire that caused the light in which you bask now…

However, The Purple Frog always feels claustrophobic (may be the reaction should be indifference or patience) in the presence of those who misguide the world. If they are doing it in the hiding, they almost cheat mankind by denying what’s natural to humans… which people you choose and live with is a choice you make. But underplaying or hiding it is encouraging other humans to live in denial and it doesn’t in any way, pave way for a candid co-existence.

Thing This Week

A blanket in the making…The colours and size make it ideal to gift it to a couple expecting twins. But, your writer here is petty that way. The blanket is turning out so soft and cosy that for at least one winter, this blanket is not stepping out for circulation. One winter it shall warm the body here…

The Purple Frog | Winter Blanket

And if you’re thinking about the last piece that was in the making, it’s done and happily in use.

The Purple Frog | Sweater

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Pet Woes – Contd.

Well, the incidents of the previous post repeated exactly the same way, this time by the so-believed ‘superior gender’ and higher social rank holders with the claim to fame being talking about society welfare apart from ageing at the same residence and workstation for several years.  Obviously, not to forget the number of years spent on the planet – at least 20-30 more years. So the underlying intention…do as we say.

Now The Purple Frog thinks things have gotten personal here.

Exactly how it gets in situations where some egoist grown-ups expect just a simple bow-now or request-as-a-favor-what-we-know-is-your-basic-right.

Why The Purple Frog thinks so

A few minutes after the entire repeat episode – ‘Our-Shit-Doesn’t-Stink’, ‘Wild Scary Stray’s Shit Doesn’t Stink’, ‘Our Friend’s Pet’s Shit Doesn’t Stink’…But you who looks new and unruly through our perception lenses ‘Your pet’s shit stinks foul’ – the friend’s pet and wild strays were roaming about the places freely.

Sad Part

The Purple Frog doesn’t want to take this matter up anymore because six more ( 5strays + 1 pet ) will suffer if it picks up any further argument. It is evident that to these several years older ones, it doesn’t really matter what happens to the planet…but their egos must be fed.

Even Sadder Part

The Purple Frog will not ever explain these arguments to them in person because it is a super wastage of time, effort and dignity.

However, it knows that such people need just one shout-out from a person higher up than their social ranks and they will suddenly, understand it all or rather acknowledge in feeble voices that they were being jerks on purpose.

For now, The Purple Frog is going to wait for some compassionate, kind soul of able rank to read this and solve Pet Woes once and for all. The start could be at least one pet park among several of those for humans in an area…

But the mention of a pervasive Solution and not just Creation Of Problems…

Thing This Week

Nevermind the delay in the arrival of winters in the The Northern Hemisphere. The chilly mornings are assuredly signalling – ‘The Winter is Coming’…

So, working on a warm woollen for the little pet here that brings oodles of warmth to the heart here.

The Purple Frog | Pet Woes

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