WORLDS ON A STRING: BEADS • JOURNEYS • INSPIRATIONS
"Universal materials of communication, ornamentation and ritual, glass beads offer extraordinary insight into worlds and world views – microcosms of meaning and symbolism. Cherished around the world, the shared passion for these luminous, kaleidoscopic treasures has sparked global trade, drawing ships across oceans. Worlds on a String explores beads and beaded objects across time and cultures, a story of journeys and inspirations that speaks to how, through centuries, the bead has informed economic and political relationships, shaping cultural and creative imagination." With the earliest known glass beads dating back to 200 BC, the topic of beading covers myriad social, environmental and ideological histories; from trade routes, through superstitions to contemporary art, Worlds on a String presents a vast a varied world to immerse yourself in. Including work by Zandile Ntobela and Zondlile Zondo, members of the Ubuhle artists’ community in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, as well as by Dene artist Catherine Blackburn of Saskatchewan, highlighting the significance of glass beads in the ongoing reimagination and reinvention of global traditions.