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Art Space » Yanela Jija



Yanela Jija

It takes a Whole Village to Raise Children

The rural landscape egg painted by Unathi Feni in 2019 was the starting point for this nest piece by Yanela Jija. After much thought and creative searching the concept of a large enveloping nest began to emerge. A community of adults working together with the goal to collectively build a community that protects their legacy – their children. The hard-working adults are represented by a flock of diverse brightly painted paper birds, busy at their nest building. The nest is made from, wire, wool and woven newspaper, twisted and secured into place to form a basket that arches up and around the back of the piece, while a smaller bowl cups the front of the egg. Weaving as a technique requires care and repetition of method for the strength and uniformity to appear.  Views of the painted egg are still visible through the strung brown wool, and we the viewers are able to witness the energy and industry of the build in progress.

The main concept behind the diversity of the birds is that through love, tolerance and hard work, the adult birds all build a community home to protect their young as a collective, regardless of their clear differences.  Ngxowa (hessian) and glue where also used to enhance the woven and connected threads that symbolise and create a fabric of society.

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