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On the Map

For Pretoria-based artist, Kutlwano Angela Monyai, the pandemic created an opportunity for her to explore a new medium. With her mother being an avid crocheter of rugs, she decided to delve deeper into crocheting and found a new way to express many of the themes that imbue her paintings. “I learnt to crochet at a tender age, but during the first year of the pandemic I decided to look more closely into it. My mother has been crocheting medium-sized carpets for her home for as long as I can remember, and one weekend I decided to take a break from my usual painting routine to crochet with her. In that moment, I decided to listen to the idea I’ve had at the back of my mind to translate the images from my paintings into a crocheted tapestry.” She is currently working on an ongoing theme of making for the body and space by recreating objects that embody the human experience, particularly the Black female experience (in line with personal, maternal experiences). She says the project is stretching her towards abstraction and conceptualisation, exploring forms and patterns, and teaching me how to be minimal yet effective by manipulating plastic materials into crocheted sculptural forms.