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DEHWE 

Colourism on the Continent 
Continental 

Acrylic on wood, 2021 

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There's a sacredness to the relationship we have with cattle on the continent. The value they offer in terms of wealth, sustenance, labour, protection and defence, as a base for art, spirituality and musical instruments.

Cow hides have a history of being used for shields on the continent and the patterning within the skin presents an opportunity for individualism and a bit of dramatic flair to such a personal object of war and defence. We celebrate the endless range of colours and patterns in animal hides but...

... when it comes to humans with variation in skin tone such as folks with vitiligo, celebration and beauty aren't always the first instinct. In their place we often find disgust, shame and unfounded claims of curses and punishment.

 

This is a reminder to see the beauty in all of our natural patterns and tones.