Beads + Sequins: Haitian Flags by George Valris
In west elm’s continued support of Haiti and the Hand/Eye Fund, we’re thrilled to include the work of Haitian artist George Valris — currently on display (and for sale) in west elm Chelsea in New York City. Valris’ work is an extension of traditional vodou flags — elaborate embroidery that includes sequins and beadwork.
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The flags — known as drapo — are filled with images of Haitian and Creole spirts and geometric symbols common in vodou.
All of the imagery is executed with the finest needlework, and beautiful control of color and texture through innovative combinations of beads and sequins. There are so many beads on an individual piece that a flag can weigh over five pounds.
George Valris continues to work in Haiti and though he is a devout Roman Catholic, he incorporates Haitian cultural images and vodou symbols as part of his Haitian identity. His animal drapos are some of his most popular designs and many of these flags depicting giraffes, elephants and goats are included in the selection at west elm Chelsea.
10% of the proceeds from the sale of George Valris artwork goes back to the Hand/Eye Fund — supporting artisans in Haiti.
To purchase artwork by George Valris, visit west elm Chelsea in NYC or contact the store directly.
Read more about the historical influences and modern interpretations of the Haitian voudou flags , embroidery and beadwork at Hand/Eye Magazine: Fabulous Flags.
**UPDATE: Join us at west elm Chelsea on Saturday 12/17 to taste a free sample of La Colombe’s rare Haitian Blue Forest Blend coffee and see the artwork of George Valris in person!**
Images: the work of George Valris photographed by Aaron Able