A blanket that can simply be created into a poncho was the project idea that resulted in 21-year old BTech textile design student Shannon Daniell winning the South African leg of the 2011 Society for Dyers and Colourists (SDC) competition.
This follows on the successes of Moipone Qekisi in 2009 and Laduma Ngxokolo last year: making it three Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University winners in the South African heat since the competition started in 2009.
As a result, Shannon wins a trip to Hong Kong courtesy of the SDC in the United Kingdom in order to enter and attend the final judging of the global competition in December.
“I am ecstatic and completely overwhelmed. I’m sure everything will only sink in later,” says the Uitenhage-born artist.
For her project titled “Beautifully bleeding”, Shannon chose to create a blanket that can convert into a poncho.
“I also looked at worldwide problems that need to be addressed. AIDS orphans are a major issue in most places and an increasing problem in Africa. I have taken great interest in an organisation called Ithemba Eliphilisayo, which means ‘The Hope that Heals’.
“One of the basic needs of these families is blankets and clothes for winter. This is why I have chosen to design a combination of these two needs. I want to be able to send out positive energy to these children. The theme of recycle, reduce and reuse plays a big role within this project and also symbolises the rebirth of a positive life,” she says.
Shannon uses bed linen no longer used by hotels to create her design of a blanket/poncho for AIDS orphans. The design project will also assist another group of people who may be condemned by citizens – prisoners. This will be an opportunity for them to develop their skills within the prisons such as sewing, printing and inventive designing that will hopefully distract them from future crimes and/or create an income for themselves.
Shannon, who has a twin sister, Charlene, and an elder sister, Robyn, both studying law at NMMU, believes that everything fell into place. With her parents owning a framing business, her love for all things arty just got a further boost.
“It is weird actually that, Riebeek College, where I went to school had no art classes; yet I always gravitated towards it,” she says.
The competition takes place on 2 December in Hong Kong.
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