Sipho Mabona (previously) folds, crimps, and puckers sheets of cotton to form geometric artworks. The artist dyes the porous material with natural substances like indigo and Maclura tinctoria (mulberry), which creates organic gradients and alters its texture. He then utilizes Origami creases to transform the cotton’s structure and shape, sometimes working in response to current affairs. For example, the red pieces (shown below) are a response to Black Lives Matter and “also of biographical significance to me having a father that was a politcal activist and refugee from South Africa.” he shares with Colossal.
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While my earlier works have smooth monochromatic surfaces in my latest body of work I felt an urge to introduce a painterly gesture and an element of chance to counterbalance the stringent geometrical appearance of the crease-patterns… Both Origami and natural dyeing are techniques that have rarely been harnessed in fine arts that unlock an intriguing field of unexplored narratives.
Head to Instagram to dive further into Mabona’s folded cotton works.