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Sunday, July 25, 2010


(Pic: “Vuvuzela Madonna” - textile work by Odette Tolksdorf)

Award-winning KZN fabric artist Odette Tolksdorf is also exhibiting on the Voyages of Discovery exhibition (see story on Joy Savage) at ArtB Gallery in Bellville until August 4. Her Vuvuzela Madonna (pictured) is a textile work showing an exuberant use of colour and bold pattern contributing to the graphic image.

A graphic design graduate living in Durban, Odette’s art quilts have often been influenced by the multi-layered African environment and by other personal experiences. In the mid 1980’s she became interested in the use of textile and fibre as a means of artistic expression. She gradually became drawn into this wonderfully tactile world which has been an absorbing and ever-changing part of her life ever since.

Her work is known for its rich and expressive colour, design and texture. Using mostly abstract images to create the surface design even though the departure point may be an actual object or scene, her motivation comes from the need to create and visually interpret her thoughts, feelings and experiences. Her work is often a commentary and interpretation of what she sees and experiences from day to day and from the past. Textiles and stitching are the media that Odette uses to express herself.

For many years Odette has been teaching a variety of classes in design and contemporary quilt-making at South African and international conferences and for guilds and other groups. A well-respected co-ordinator, she was responsible for the idea of The Peace Quilt which is displayed at the International Convention Centre in Durban. Quilters from 29 countries, including South Africa, sent 800 fabric “bricks” in colours of blue and white, which were made into a “wall of peace” by members of Grassroots Quilters Guild. The 26 quilts were exhibited at the Seasons National Quilt Festival in Durban in 1996, then travelled nationally and internationally until they were finally donated to the ICC in Durban.

Voyage of Discovery runs at the Bellville Library Centre until August 4. More information on 021 918 2301 or email