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Deborah Doering and the Keiskamma artists revisited

A few months ago, I wrote about a project by a friend of mine, artist Deborah Doering, who was starting a collaboration with the Keiskamma artists in South Africa. These artists, mainly women, started making art several years ago in order to raise money for an AIDS clinic in Hamburg, which is in a valley right on the Indian Ocean between Port Elizabeth and East London. Deborah has just returned from a 15 day trip to begin the project. She was accompanied by Dr. Grace Carreon, shown in the following photos of the clinic:
After making a presentation to the lead artists in the community (there are about 150 artists there altogether), Deborah then began collaborating with the local artists on making a series of paintings that combine Deborah's abstract symbology with patterns that occur in their work:
There are paintings on the ceiling because as they worked, they began to see the resemblance between Deborah's forms and night constellations. After working for a few days together, the Keiskamma artists began to make embroidered work using Deborah's symbols. The following photo shows this work side by side with their more traditional embroidery:
Before she returned, Deborah and the Keiskamma artists agreed to work together to create a tapestry, which will start from the small paintings on paper. I am assuming that proceeds from any future sales of the work will go back into the community.

It's a fascinating project, and I admire Deborah for making the trip of 8,600 miles each way. That shows commitment. She intends to go back for a longer period to do a full residency and collaboration. If you want to keep up with the project, check in from time to time at Deborah's website, www.deborahdoering.com.
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