Crafting Colour: Beads, Pattern and Painting from the Kalahari

Tuesday 24 June – Sunday 28 September 2014
South Lecture Room

Print "Adam & Eve Leave the Garden" by Jan Tcega

Adam & Eve Leave the Garden by Jan Tcega

Contemporary prints and paintings produced in western Botswana over the last twenty five years feature in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s summer South Lecture Room exhibition.

Print: "Noah's Ark" by Sara Cao

Noah’s Ark by Sara Cao

Many of the artists responsible talk about their work as a form of storytelling, and the stories they tell relate to the lives of their ancestors, hunting and gathering, but also their lives today, living on a former mission with limited access to the land and the resources it once supplied. The exhibition will juxtapose black and white images of San people in Botswana during the 1930s from the museum’s collections, with the colourful images produced more recently at the Kuru Art Project.

Gallery Shot of the Exhibition

Gallery Shot of the Exhibition

This art workshop, established in 1990 at D’Kar in western Botswana, was inspired by the ancient tradition of San rock art found across southern Africa. While many of the images have similarities to the rock art tradition, others feature beads and beadwork, another ancient tradition of artistic practice associated with San people. Archaeological finds have suggested that people in Botswana made beads from ostrich eggshell before our species, Homo Sapiens, arrived in Europe, and the exhibition explores the connections between beadwork and painting as artistic practices.


Kuru Art Workshop, D’Kar, Botswana

The development of this exhibition was supported in part by a Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Research Grant from the Art Fund, and a Research Grant from the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research awarded to Dr Chris Wingfield, MAA’s Curator of World Archaeology. A number of prints are presented by the Art Fund and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Watch the video produced for the exhibition at:

Adam and Eve are sent out of the garden by Jan Tcega

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