The Kenteverse is a multifaceted Art, Design & Music project exploring Kente’s innate power to create. I’m primarily using sounds sampled from the loom during the weaving process to generate new Kente designs and experiences.

When I started this project, I thought I was merely observing and dissecting the anatomy of Kente. I wasn’t aware of the fact that I was peering into a whole universe, The Kenteverse. Sound & Rhythm drove me here, and they’ve been my main points of contact in understanding the numerous locations within this universe. Language, History & Fashion are just some of the areas I’ve gained access to during my time here.

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All-Important Symbolism

While in Ghana, I had fascinating interactions with the weavers I work with. Most times, the weavers wrapped these interesting moments in attempts to weave some of the generated designs. When given black & white images of the new Kente designs, all the weavers I worked with returned with full-color samples. This proved how important color is to the meaning of any given kente cloth.

Color and pattern became all-important, and symbolism was attached to both colors, patterns, and motifs. Names of the cloths can be derived from any source and may not correlate to their appearance. Together, the colors, patterns, shapes, and names combine to tell a story, an anecdote, a theme, or symbolize the wearer's clan, history, and specific set of values.

With this in mind, I pushed harder on my motif experiments. I've so far created thirty motifs based on different experiences during my time in Basel and some aerial shots of certain places here.

Through building this library, I'm creating visual elements and multiple stories through a combination of motifs, patterns, and colors. When worn, it is more than just a piece of attire; it is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, religious belief, political thought, and oral story-telling.
April 05 2021