The Fabric of Society

Timed Online Auction, 18 May - 1 June 2022

Textile Auction

Sold for

ZAR 3 518
Lot 33
  • Karin Arbeter; Bereishis (Genesis)
  • Karin Arbeter; Bereishis (Genesis)
  • Karin Arbeter; Bereishis (Genesis)

Lot Estimate
ZAR 3 000 - 5 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 3 518

About this Item

Karin Arbeter
South Africa 20th/21st Century
Bereishis (Genesis)

inscribed with the artist's name and the title on a document adhered to the reverse

mixed media with appliqué, embroidery and beads on textile
50 by 103cm excluding frame; 77 by 128 by 5cm including frame


"In the beginning of God creating the heavens and the earth – when the earth was astonishingly empty with darkness upon the surface of the deep, the divine presence hovered upon the surface of the waters ..."

Fibre art is an art form that encompasses a very large range of techniques, materials and approaches that give the fibre artist the possibility of expressing themselves in almost unlimited ways. Work may be composed of numerous different types of fibre in combination with other materials such as paint, dyes, and embellishments such as beads and found objects. Fibre refers to materials that are made up of continuous filaments or elongated pieces similar to lengths of thread. These include natural fibres (including cotton, hemp, jute, flax, sisal, linen, paper, textile, leaf and seed fibre, spider silk, sinew, cat-gut, wool, hair, cashmere, mohair and angora), metallic fibres (drawn from ductile metals like copper, gold, silver and steel) or synthetic fibres (such as nylon, acrylic, Tyvek etc.). The endless, exciting fibre possibilities and combinations include basketry, beading, braiding, crochet, embroidery, felting and felt making, fibre knots, knitting, Kumihimo (a traditional Japanese artform of interlaced braids and cords), lace-making, needlework, paper making, papier maché, patchwork, quilting, spinning, weaving and knotting. These materials can be torn, dyed, burnt, frayed, glued, painted, embroidered, woven, ripped, cut, folded, crumpled, hammered, layered, looped or otherwise manipulated. Fibre artworks transcend the literal. Their foundation is the knowledge of materials through which the artist finds his or her own voice, giving the work originality and perhaps a quality of mystery. The work of internationally renowned South African fibre/textile artists and teachers has been exhibited locally and abroad and forms part of public and private collections both in South Africa and across the world.



FirstRand, including FNB and RMB, are long-term collaborators and partners with the creative arts across South Africa. Over the years, the different businesses have built significant collections, covering diverse art genres. The FirstRand Art Acquisition Policy has been streamlined and has resulted in the collection requiring deaccessioning of an extensive range of high-quality and desirable artworks – all by established artists.

All proceeds from FirstRand artworks on this auction will be re-invested in contemporary South African art.


Liza Gillespie (2006) Innovative Threads: A Decade of South African Fibre Art, Cape Town:  Innovative Threads, illustrated in colour on page 122.

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