Artist: Peter McCarthy
Title: Royal Kita With Red Stripes
Attribution: Royal Kita With Red Stripes, 2021, Peter T. McCarthy
Materials: re-purposed nylon zippers
Dimensions: 235cm x 215cm
Image Statement: During 2020, when Côte d'Ivoire was bracing itself for the potential of violent elections and feared another bloody civil unrest, I received a large donation of unwanted zippers. As I played with them in my studio and at home I was struck by their bold colours and the irony this presented. Zippers are only brightly coloured in order to blend in and disappear. They are intended to be invisible servants holding the object or garment together. I couldn’t resist playing with this. I started piecing them together into long, striped bands like traditional Kita (Kenté) cloth. This work is surprising, maybe even comical, but deep down for me it is a plea and prayer for the kind of leadership we need: humble persons willing to make themselves beautiful through service.