December 27, 2019
Billie Zangewa, Christmas at the Ritz, 2006
Where have you been spending this Christmas holiday week? Wherever it is, we hope it has been as luxurious and serene as this raw silk painting by Billie Zangewa; featuring luscious stitched layers of golden textile (Zangewa favours dupion silk) adorned with her fine needlework, the work is softer than your best pyjamas. The dream scene features the artist reclining with her eyes closed at The Ritz, with name checks for coveted brands—the art world’s favourite designer, Issey Miyake, and ubiquitous Swiss watch brand Swatch. (Zangewa used to work in the fashion industry as a model and assistant, and often references fashion photographs in her hand-sewn works). After a week of celebrations and family arguments over Scrabble we kind of want to climb inside this scene. In the work, we see a suited figure asking where Billie is—the answer is, she’s living the ultimate Christmas fantasy of all mothers out there, alone in a 5 star hotel bed with some very swish and pricey gifts.