For some, ‘padkos’, ‘pink pilletjies’ and ‘toebroodjies’ bring back childhood memories of garden tea times in floral dresses, birthday party lucky packets, eating snacks on long car journeys and the sickly sweet but delicious sensation of biting into a ‘koeksister’. Using nostalgia as a departure point, Helé de Beer draws off Afrikaans culinary traditions to create contemporary textile designs for her final year project, Die Smaak Van Onthou.
“This exploration entailed designing a range of ‘florals’, reminiscent of the floral patterns on the Sunday school dresses that my grandmother used to make for me and my sister. The actual flowers have been substituted by food objects that played a significant role in my childhood, as an Afrikaans person growing up in the 90s in South Africa. These are translated into printed textiles that are intended to surprise the viewer when they perceive that the ‘florals’ are more than what they appear from a distance and so to question their significance”, says Helé.
Photographs by Joubert Loots.