Mantis, a well-established textile design label in the heart of Cape Town, is the creation of Ena Heese, who started Mantis in 1996 on her return to South Africa after a sojourn of 13 years in Amsterdam in Holland.

Ena's background as a fine arts jewellery graduate from Stellenbosch University was the foundation for a varied career in the arts. After her studies she worked as a costume artist and stylist in Cape Town, while in Amsterdam she worked in costume and décor design for the theatre. On returning to South Africa she decided to focus on textile design, an art that has been an abiding interest.

Ena's textile designs are a reflection of the continent on which she grew up; and the African continent in all its rich diversity was and remains the main influence on her work. Patterns, symbols, colours, arts and crafts, plants and creatures from all over Africa are a constant source of inspiration.

Text: Mantis