2017 Architecture Family Pack: A Portable Mural
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2017 Architecture Family Pack: A Portable Mural

Katie Schwab is an artist who explores how different hands and voices can come together to respond to issues affecting our daily lives. Katie is interested in the links between Kéré’s Pavilion and traditions of weaving, indigo fabric dyeing and community wall painting in Burkina Faso, where women paint patterns on the sides of houses using symbols and shapes from everyday life.    Read more

The 2017 Serpentine Pavilion is designed by Francis Kéré, an architect from Burkina Faso. Kéré says that “people are the basis of every piece of work” and he works with groups to design and build architectural structures. This Pavilion is based on the idea of a tree as a shared meeting place.

A Portable Mural features a cyanotype print of a woven tapestry with prompts for looking around the Pavilion. The reverse is made of a strip of indigo dyed dust sheet and contains a space for families to create a mural together with the pop-out shapes.

The title is based on a 1965 essay ‘Tapestry’, in which artist and weaver Anni Albers described a woven picture as a ‘portable mural’. A mural is a large image, text or pattern painted on a wall which draws people’s attention to both decoration and important social issues.

Indigo is a natural blue dye made from the leaves of the indigo plant. It also creates the colour blue that you find in jeans. In Burkina Faso, fabric is often woven in plain white strips. Patterns are then made by clamping, tying or stitching the material and dipping it into a vat of indigo dye. Blue indigo cloth is used in different ways by different cultures: sometimes it is worn as work clothing and sometimes it is worn for special occasions.

Katie has developed a pack in collaboration with Year 3 students at Gateway Academy, North Westminster, friends and designers Maeve Redmond and Sarah Johnson and the Serpentine Galleries Education team.

Design by Cameron Leadbetter.

For more information on visiting the Serpentine Galleries with your family.

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Katie Schwab

Katie Schwab

A Portable Mural

2017
Photograph: Manuela Barczewski

Katie Schwab

Katie Schwab

A Portable Mural

2017
Photograph: Manuela Barczewski

Katie Schwab

Katie Schwab

A Portable Mural

2017
Photograph: Manuela Barczewski

Katie Schwab

Katie Schwab

A Portable Mural

2017
Photograph: Manuela Barczewski

Katie Schwab

Katie Schwab

A Portable Mural

2017
Photograph: Manuela Barczewski

Katie Schwab

Katie Schwab

A Portable Mural

2017
Photograph: Manuela Barczewski

Katie Schwab

Katie Schwab

A Portable Mural

2017
Photograph: Manuela Barczewski