The Zimbabwe block features an exquisite example of sadza batik, contributed by Sarah Trevor. Batik is a popular method of resist fabric painting. Usually the resist consists of melted wax painted on the fabric to form designs that resist colour dyes. This example of batik uses a mixture of cornmeal and water, called the sadza, as a substitute for the wax resist. One of the only forms of decoration in rural areas of the country, batiks are used for bed coverings, curtains, tablecloths, wall coverings, and clothing. Popular with tourists, the sale of batiks enables the women who produce this cloth to contribute monetarily to their families.
The colourful pot in the centre is designed by grade eight student, Joanne Majoko, who had recently emigrated from Zimbabwe. It reflects the decorative pottery that is part of the Shona and Karanga tribes’ rich artistic heritage. Each piece of stoneware is individually hand thrown and hand decorated.
Sally Rood embroidered the vibrant claw-like flowers of the Flame Lily, Zimbabwe’s national flower. These plants can grow up to 1.8 metres tall. A batik representation of The Great Enclosure or Elliptical Building, one of the three main structures of the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, frames the central images. This famous wall, which stands 11 metres high in some places, has a circumference of 244 metres long. It is estimated that one million blocks set in layers without mortar were used in its construction. A border of ‘lucky beans,’ the inedible fruit of the Cafra Lysistemon tree, completes the design.