Bulumko Mbete’s ‘A Thousand Things’ explores the ways in which textiles relate to an individual’s embodied knowledge and sense of place. Featuring domestic and utilitarian materials such as wool, plastic, cotton, blankets and beads, Mbete’s artworks experiment with alternating and challenging our experience of their materiality. Through the exploration of familiar and familial materials, she finds a language to speak to the woven connectivity of relationships and experiences.
The colour, texture and functionality of the materials carry specific spiritual and domestic symbolism which Mbete references and works through in her pieces. The act of taking things apart to create something new allows her to gain a sense of perspective while exploring the fluidity of meaning embodied in her textiles. Ultimately, Mbete uses her artworks to unravel the ways in which her chosen materials intersect culturally.