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ROYAL ACADEMY COLLECTION

Marigold is privileged to work once again with William Kentridge and his studio in the development of new designs to mark the occasion of his exhibition at the Royal Academy, London, September 2022. 

The sets of beads correspond to particular installations in the exhibition.

FELIX

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The Marigold response to Kentridge’s 1994 film Felix in Exile references the night sky into which Nandi gazes. She is a protagonist in this early political film and is described in Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s 1998 essay as ‘surveyor of the land, explorer of the stars, witness of events’ (See Kentridge studio website: Reading Room for the full essay).

 

In this film South Africa’s complicated transition to democracy is conjured through a relationship between Felix and Nandi, between self and other, between internal and external realities and through images of hope, fear, erasure and loss. Our Felix design honours this important film.

William Kentridge, Drawing for the film Felix in Exile, 1994

Charcoal and pastel on paper, 80 x 120 cm.

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SIBYL

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Waiting for the Sibyl retells the myth of the ancient prophetess, Sibyl, who inscribed onto oak leaves her answers to people’s questions about their lives, futures, fates and problems. The trouble was that the wind dispersed the leaves and mixed up the fates, leaving people none the wiser. Andrew Dickson writing for the New York Times, mused that ‘The opera is a reminder that humans have been trying to get a jump on what’s coming next for perhaps as long as we’ve existed — and that maybe we’d be better served by living in the present instead’. (April 21, 2022).

 

The Marigold interpretation responds to the blue of the cyanotype prints in the book Waiting for the Sibyl. The necklaces are subtly inscribed with various of the prophecies. The shapes that intersperse and disrupt the messages are in autumn leaf colours.

William Kentridge, Video still from Waiting for the Sibyl, 2020, 

Single channels HD film; 9 minutes 59 seconds. 

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GEOMETRIES OF COLOUR

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William Kentridge, Meeting the Page Halfway, 2013,

watercolour and coloured pencil on Oxford Shorter Dictionary, 122 x 152 cm

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William Kentridge, Drawing for Waiting for the Sibyl (Geometry of Colour), 2021, Watercolour and pencil on found paper, 113 x 178 cm

Marigold beadwork has long made use of geometric shapes in a range of different colours, but our challenge in responding to the Kentridge geometrics was to find a way to translate the found text pages that so define Kentridge’s work. We also wanted to allude to the pins that attach the pages side by side to create the gridwork of forms. 

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NOTES TOWARDS A MODEL OPERA

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William Kentridge, Film still from Notes Towards a Model Opera, 2015, three channel HD film installation, 11 min 14 sec.

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William Kentridge, Film still from Notes Towards a Model Opera, 2015, three channel HD film installation, 11 min 14 sec.

Drawing on the intense colours of this film, the calligraphic imagery is composed from the initials WK used both on a horizontal and vertical orientation.

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BREATHE

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A sequence in Breathe, one of the films in the rhythmical triptych Breathe, Dissolve, Return, captures hundreds of small pieces of torn black paper being swept and blown, forming words and images which successively gather and disperse.

 

This new Marigold design attempts to capture this quality of something unstable, fleeting and transient despite the structure and greater permanence of loomed beadwork. 

William Kentridge, Film still from Breathe, Dissolve, Return, 2008, HD and DVcam transferred to video, 6 min loop

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