Yda Walt is an artist and designer who interprets the world around her with her lively and colourful prints. Her images are evocative of Johannesburg city street life with its complexity of the informal and formal, the modern and traditional and the blend of cosmopolitan Africa. They find their way onto all her products in a playful and spontaneous way. Everything is done by hand.
Her process involves drawing and producing linocut prints of her work which is then photographically exposed onto silk screens.
The silkscreen prints are hand stitched onto fabric, a process that is integral to her work in this age of digital and computerized imagery, her work is refreshingly human with no two pieces being identical. The work is embellished with merchandise, images and objects typically seen and sold on the Joburg streets - bowls of fruit, signage, sangoma dominoes, berets, mirrors, buttons and beads.
"I'm pleased that my work is so labour intensive as I live in a country with chronic unemployment, "says Yda." For the hand stitching, I generally employ/unemployed women to assist me, who are invariably single mothers, like me. I know how damn hard it can be, and I feel gratified that we can help each other, even if it's in a small way."
Text: Yda Walt