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Wall hanging
Date: 2001
Medium: Cotton, plant fiber
Dimensions: H x W x D: 200.8 x 61.0 x 2.4 cm (79 1/16 x 24 x 15/16 in.)
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Geography: Madagascar
Object Number: 2001-10-2
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Object is not currently on exhibit

Taking Malagasy fibers and weaving them in new directions is Zoarinivo Razakaratrimo, Madagascar's pre-eminent fiber artist. Zo took up weaving relatively late in life as a creative outlet, but it soon became a full-time artistic career. Her large wall hanging called "Craziness" incorporates Malagasy spices, such as vanilla and cinnamon, and found objects, such as pens, phone cards and chain, as it demonstrates her three-fold artistic goals: to break through the limitations of the two-dimensional weaving plane; to promote the rich cultural and natural heritage of Madagascar; and to show the beauty in the ordinary. For years, Zo worked in isolation, experimenting and creating for herself. Today, she is wellknown in both local and international art circles for her inventive approach to textile arts. She has won juried prizes at international art exhibitions, such as the Dak'Art international biennial in Senegal in 1999. In 2000, she opened her own boutique, Zo Artiss', offering one-of-a-kind interior furnishings. She continues to make "crazy" textiles for her own pleasure and occasionally for sale.

Wall hanging in a light gauze-like construction composed of loosely woven white cotton threads. The predominate white color scheme is broken by the delicate patterning of light greenish-brown reeds and vibrantly colored red peppers inserted at regular intervals into the weft. Bundles of reeds lashed together define the top and bottom of this wall hanging.

Gifts and Blessings: The Textile Arts of Madagascar Malagasy, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, April 14-September 2, 2002


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