Images courtesy of
Images courtesy of Daisie Jo Grobler

Ouma, Africa and Embroidering the City – In Conversation with Daisie Jo Grobler

A palette of prints. Donned in military style and elegance. An army jacket paired with a sheer shade of scarlet. A cascading overlay. Feminine wisps of blonde hair, gathered in gentle twists at the top of her head. Upon first meeting Daisie, I was struck with wonderment by such an eclectic congregation of cloth and whimsy. The spirit of her playful articulation seemed to be embedded in every garment.

One can trace some of these eccentricities back to the cultural context of the rural Free State in which she grew up. The juxtaposition of ‘traditional’ Basotho garb and the tailored Chanel suits worn by expatriates had always intrigued Daisie. She fondly refers to her grandmother as Ouma – the matriarchal catalyst who sparked her love for fashion. The thread seems to run thick in her blood. Ouma was a master embroiderer and exposure to the collection of jewel-coloured cottons inspired Daisie onto the path of embellished design – utilizing sewing and knitting in her work.

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“I like to bring in a part of my heritage”says Daisie. “My Ouma was a very big part of my life. Her flower gardens & embroidery still inspire me today.” She is also a fervent believer in the relationship between hard work and opportunity and quotes Laduma Ngxokolo, “Hard work opens any doors. Also, people should not focus on the success of external subjects but focus on themselves and their own work, as everyone is unique.’”

It is clear the Daisie centers her professional practice around an inter-disciplinary diligence and dedication. After completing her studies at the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design she joined the team of Marianne Fassler last year. “I love being part of the creative process at Leopard Frock.” Although she feels it unnecessary to limit herself to one specific engagement and mode of working within the industry. In her work, she strives to combine beauty and sophistication with a playful edge. “I believe in putting passion and love into everything.”

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Daisie also uses the process of art and collage divisively to filter information, “It is a means to sort through and file and put into order….throwing out the junk mail and summarizing ideas and influences.” Her immersive practice is conscious of, “concepts changing and growing as the world around me changes. We live in an ever-changing environment and each new challenge is inspired by the time slot it is happening in.”

The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts is a group exhibition with a focus on collage featuring work by Daisie and other artists. The exhibition runs from the 2nd -28th  of February at the Kalashnikovv Gallery.

“I am the combined effort of everything and everyone around me.”

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