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MAISHA MARSHALL-ENDE
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Home run series, 2021
Maisha Marshall - Ende

Textile length, screen printing

 

Hailing from Ethiopia, Maisha Marshall-Ende's work explores black culture in a Western context.

Invited in residence, during the Co-vid pandemic, the artist experimented with the technique of screen printing for the very first time in his artistic practice.

The integral work brings together eight large textiles all created by hand by the artist.

Home run series 

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Typology

Production residency

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Duration

8 weeks

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Destination

Toronto

AAF presentation

 

Co-production

fruit company

Agnès b

A piece of me.

___

I started exploring the Ethiopian mattress pattern in 2018.

Growing up in Addis Ababa, this motif was familiar to me. It was not uncommon to see a mountain of mattresses stacked in the back of a pickup truck, the bright colors swaying dangerously in the wind. I used this iconic fabric as a cultural bridge to help me discover and navigate this multicultural world.

 

Although I am trained as a photographer, I am also interested in using other crafts to expand my practice. This residency program was a wonderful opportunity to learn something completely new. I got into screen printing, reimagining the iconic pattern and creating my own custom fabrics.

 

Early in this process, I realized that this particular pattern was actually quite complex. It features four layers of bright flowers and chain-like prints. The printing process required two people: one person to measure and stabilize the frame while the other did the actual printing. My fellow artist Khadijah Morley was a great help. This experience also allowed me to reaffirm the importance of creating together. Collaborations bring new skills, perspectives and thoughts into the final work, and the results of these interactions are both exciting and rewarding. We designed our own custom print model from home, and in total we spent around 350 hours printing together.

 

In the end, I created 5 new custom fabrics:

Pink

Green

Beige

Blue Duck

YELLOW

And finally... Black.

 

To explore and celebrate multiculturalism, I chose a range of colors inspired by the Pan-African flag. The colors of this flag are black, green and red, and are in a way the calling card of the African diaspora around the world. I chose to add gold to my design, which is both a slight nod to the Ethiopian flag (which is green, red and yellow), a touch of decadence and royalty. It seemed natural to me to combine the motif that is so dear to me and the flag intended to represent a movement of global solidarity. They are two cultural bridges and I live with one foot on each of them, which is how the "fabric of the diaspora" has been conceptualized. As we carefully applied each coat of dye, the fabric became heavier and heavier. I started to see it as a pretty literal metaphor for the weight of meaning and value we add to our work with our time and attention. The weight seems appropriate considering the meaning this pattern has taken on for me. 

 

This culminated in a series of photoshoots in which I was able to juxtapose this fabric to various contexts here in Toronto – where I spent my lockdown during COVID. This year, like many others, I was unable to return home, in my case to Addis Ababa. Instead, I feel like I've created my own sense of home and comfort, right here where I am.

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Mattress face-cover
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  • Instagram
© Making of: Khadijah Morley
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"To explore and celebrate multiculturalism, I chose a range of colors inspired by the Pan-African flag. The colors of this flag are black, green and red, and are in a way the calling card of the African diaspora around the world."

in partnership with 

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Endowment fund Fruit Company

The Compagnie Fruitière Endowment Fund was created in 2012. Its action is in line with the social responsibility approach initiated by the Company.

For ten years, support for vulnerable populations has been the common thread in all our actions, in Marseille and in Africa.

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Agnès B endowment fund

The Agnès B endowment fund supports artist projects at all stages of creation: help with writing, production, post-production, etc.

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