Ndebele Geometric Art
I wanted to present this week's lesson to all grade levels as I think it is relevant to all of us right now. I hope you will find inspiration from the work of the Ndebele, a South African tribe who created a stunning visual language as a means of communicating with one another from an enforced distance. What can you communicate through color and shape? Can you create your own symbols to reflect how or what you are feeling? I have included a few different variations on the project that you can choose from based on your level of ambition or your access to certain materials.
The Ndebele people of Southern Africa have long been known for their bright, geometric designs painted onto the exterior of their homes.
Their bold intricate patterns were born out of a need for communication during a time of confinement (sound familiar?).
Read more about the Ndebele here
Here are a few examples of some Ndebele symbols and their meanings. Can you create your own?
This week, I would like you to use the Ndebele houses as inspiration. Try any of the following options:
- Create a full sheet with one large geometric pattern. Think about how you can communicate with basic shapes and colors like the Ndebele
- Take it one step further, draw a house, or even your own home. Decorate the front of the house with bold Ndebele patterns
- Feel like creating something more sculptural? Dig through your recycle bin for cardboard food containers: think oatmeal canisters, cereal boxes, milk cartons. Create an architectural structure and adorn it with your patterns.
Please send me any images of this project or any other artistic ventures. I would love to see how you are keeping busy and creating. Or, just email me to say Hi. I check my email each day. Hope you are all well! Miss you!