Encountering Countenance – ‘Re-Stitching Culture’ reclaims traditional practice, explores health and well being, and reveals intimate human stories through doll making. Exhibiting at The KZNSA Gallery from 31 July - 19 August 2018 in the Main Gallery.

  • 30 July 2018 - 18 August 2018
  • Main Gallery

Showcasing and bringing together three international examples of doll-making from three indigenous groups. The artists all use doll making to highlight cultural practices that support healing through storytelling, and the sharing of oral personal narratives, which promote the transmission of cultural teachings.


Encountering the Gomeroi gaaynggal program colourful Yarning dolls (Australia); the Six Nations Haudenosaunee People, and their faceless cornhusk dolls (Canada); and the Siyazama Project (South Africa) with their beautiful beaded dolls, that support locally relevant HIV/AIDS education, is an unusual, and unique visual experience.

The ‘Re-Stitching Culture’ collection of dolls, which collectively shows how the local indigenous communities, from each nation, are strengthened through reciprocol, creative and healing processes.  This, in turn, supports capacity building for problem solving, and the reclaiming of indigenous knowledge, history and identity.

Communal craft and art making has traditionally been a visually powerful medium for expressing cultural identities. In the pre-colonial past, plant and animal materials were gathered, and crafted in combination with story telling, singing and dancing. These actions helped to maintain social relations, perpetuate ideals, and support cultural behaviors that were considered beneficial in upholding communal well being. 


Doll making is an example of a communal visual art form that plays a role in supporting healthy indigenous communities. This communal gathering of individuals to learn new artistic skills and to revitalize the stories, memories and identities are exemplified by the making of their individual dolls, which are all now presented in exhibition form to further the cause and inform the public.


- Kate Wells and Kym Rae


Share on social media

Gallery   Tues–Fri 09.00-17.00 | Sat 09.00-16.00 | Sun 09.00-15.00

Café   Tues - Fri 08.00-17.00 | Sat 08.00-16.00 | Sun 09.00-15.00

Shop   Tues–Fri 09.00-17.00 | Sat 09.00-16.00 | Sun 09.00-15.00