Kente Re-coded is a collection of woven textile experimentations that mirror the symbolic language of the Asante Kente deconstructed and reconfigured to reflect today's experience. The Kente Re-coded series is an experimental investigation of diasporic identity through the lens of Kente. This series of experiments focuses on re-coding the language around Kente by pushing past & present European and Ghanaian weaving techniques. To develop, re-coded language encapsulating Ghanaian national identity, colonialism, and diasporic identity. Kente re-coded is an opportunity for further investigation & re-contextualisation of what Kente is and can be.
"The Departure Cloth highlights what it means to be a female weaver, as Kente weaving has historically been a male-dominated craft."
It is a fabric that questions what it means to be between cultures and It is also a multi-layered expression of history, storytelling, and identity with a contemporary focus. Throughout the weaving process, manipulation techniques have also been featured that echo the details found on thrones & the stools of the Akan.
Departure is the first woven experiment within the Kente Re-coded series. It focuses on the development of a dual identity cloth that reflects the historic proximity Kente has to the stools of the Asante.
Kente is a symbol of identity and status and a historical document that reflects the history of Ghana and the process of change. When it comes to materials in the series, a staple feature is cotton and silk as earlier Kente cloths were produced in cotton and silk and introduced via trade which saw an emergence of textiles entirely made of silk. Weaving is the language of my ancestors. We have communicated our history and beliefs through the weaving process. The idea that you can trace a country's colonial history through the fibers used and the migration narrative of a family member or document your existence through its construction is exciting.
The series is about establishing & documenting self through the Weaving. Something that has always amazed me about Kente, outside of its stunning colour- ways and complex motifs, is the language of resistance embedded in the cloth. It speaks to the spirit of its creators and the strength of the nation of Ghana.