South African artist Igshaan Adams trained as a painter at the Ruth Prowse School of Art in Cape Town. Amid financial struggles in his mid-20s, he decided to stop buying pricey oil paints. Instead, with his grandparents’ permission, he cut up clothing and other fabrics from their home and stitched them together to create a figurative image. Soon after, in 2010, he got a job teaching painting and composition to weaving artisans at an NGO called the Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Trust. He knew some weaving basics before taking the job, but the experience sparked an “embodied” connection to the craft. “I realized at that moment that I never loved painting,” he said on a Zoom call from his studio at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town. “I never connected with the medium as strongly.”

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