Amanda van der Walt’s project ‘Dorp’ is an intimate visual map of Potchefstroom, the town she used to live in as a student at North West University. The series consists of 8 patterns each inspired by an area within the town. As part of the process Amanda visited and photographed these areas to pick up distinct visual cues, she drew the objects she caught on camera and then, she assembled them into a modular pattern inspired by the layout of Potchefstroom. The choice of colours for each pattern were taken directly from the environments they came from.
“I believe that inspiration for any project can come from your own backyard,” says Amanda, who showcased her project as one of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives this year. “Sometimes you can stumble across something awesome just by visiting the fish and chips shop down the road.” Textile design is Amanda’s passion and as ‘Dorp’ illustrates, she is a designer with a strong sense of origin, saying “I try to be true to where I come from and who I am as a South African in all of my designs.”
The areas depicted through the series of patterns are: the central business district of Potchefstroom – a bustling area with a lot of hand-painted signage, an industrial area consisting mostly of factories and scrapyards, the informal settlement known as Ikageng filled with colourful houses and children playing in the streets, the wealthy area of Van Der Hoff with its big houses and lavish gardens, the Southern part of Potchefstroom – an older area with many sentimental objects in and around the homes, the student area as well as most of the museums and history of the town, an Indian populated area rich in colour and pattern and finally, the middle class neighbourhood of Bailie Park.
Once she’d completed her field research and after each individual pattern had been designed, Amanda revisited the areas that inspired them to put them back where they came from. The final series of patterns are applied to a range of items including chairs, cushions, lampshades, paper mache bowls and wallpaper. Amanda is currently working at Design Team Fabrics and plans to start a textile business of her own in the near future. Stay up to date with her on Behance and Instagram.