n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - Dream weavers : horned animal autobiographies and forms

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491



Elizabeth Wilson (2004:378) discusses the magical properties of textile media in relation to items of clothing, affect and perception. In this article, I take this enchanted sensibility further in a discussion of the strong confluence of stitched and woven () forms with horned animal mysticism, discussing the historical and contemporary beliefs surrounding horned animals in both western and African contexts in relation to, and as an influence on, the mysticism relating to mediums.

I invoke Jacques Derrida's (2009 [1978]:301-315) critical term "", which stems from the stitched practice of cobbling. Two sub-metaphors employed by Derrida (2009:302-307) in his extrapolation of this term bear weight in this context: his constitution of the word "lace" (derived from the shoe lace), and his perception of a haunting implicit in the relation of the original shoes, to the painted shoes, to the viewer. Following this looped notion of and , I argue that the vacuum made by the stitch is a haunted site invested with themes and experiences of human frailty and desire; filled precipitously by the yarn, a wished for end is sympathetically effected.

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