Safeefah Tote

by Jennifer Zurick

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Made to order

Estimated production time: 4 weeks

This piece has been produced during the "Design Labs" initiative by Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council.
Dimension LxWxH (cm): 35.5X7.5X25.5
Limited Editions Material : Camel leather, Irish waxed, Linen threads
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Description

Irthi collaborated with American designer Jennifer Zurick, a Smithsonian Museum acquired artist and Loewe craft prize commissioned craft artist, to combine Safeefah and other weaving techniques to create a collection of sculptural hand bags using braided camel leather.

Designed using an innovative combination of ancient indigenous weaving traditions from both the United Arab Emirates and the United States, these finely woven, contemporary handbags cross international borders and portray the bond of the creative spirit of women and weavers from different cultures around the world.

The unique quality of this collection comes from the use of traditional Safeefah techniques. Safeefah products have traditionally been made with palm fronds and used as mats and baskets, constructed as long woven strips which are coiled and sewn together.

Zurick, who is a contemporary basket-weaver, worked with Irthi’s Bidwa artisans and trainees from the Bidwa Social Development Programme to create fashionable and functional bag designs with a natural rustic aesthetic. By utilising Emirati camel leather in place of the palm, the pieces take the traditional weave in an exciting new direction.

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About the designer


Jennifer Zurick

Jennifer Zurick is a self-taught artist specializing in black willow bark which she has been harvesting and weaving into baskets since 1980. She is the recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Fellowship and two Kentucky Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowships and was selected for the 1999 Kentucky Arts Council Cultural Exchange Residency in Ecuador. Her work is included in a number of museum collections, including the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and has won prizes and awards at national exhibitions and shows.

Curated by

Presenting “PROXIMITY”, a collection created in collaboration with Southern Sweden Design Days showcasing a selection of new work from ten designers and studios. As a whole, the collection contemplates the notion of proximity, interconnection, and belonging. Whether through contemporary references to traditional crafts techniques; the use of locally sourced materials such as wool, lichen, steel, and wood; or playful visualisations of the notion itself, the selected pieces illustrate the importance of closeness, interconnection, and kinship in uncertain times. Featuring pieces by Andrea Santivanez, Andréason & Leibel, Ebba Lindgren, Förstberg Ling, Jóna Berglind Stefánsdóttir, Lab La Bla, Lisa Darland, Louise Hederström, Moa Lönn, and Studio M. Organised by Form/Design Center in Malmö, Sweden, Southern Sweden Design Days is an annual event currently in its second edition, which highlights sustainability, collaboration, development, and innovation in design. This year’s theme, as described by the event organisers, “[reflects] on the notion of being close – the connection between people, cities, countries, species, professions, etc”. The physical exhibition of “PROXIMITY” will take place at Lokstallarna, Södra Bulltoftavägen 51, 212 22 Malmö from 19 - 22 May 2022.