Pattern Pupils: A Durban is Ours Submission

Featuring PatternNation’s most recent collection of upcycled clothing exhibited at KZNSA Gallery for the Fashion Revolution #whomademyclothes exhibition, PatternNation collaborated with the young, queer and beautiful youth of Durban to produce a taste of their colourful and home-centric fashion.


PatternNation artist Cydney Eva Pattern connected with a crew of UKZN medical students through meeting Steve Slay at Same Sex Saturdays. At the club we had conversations about how fashion, style, and creativity are tools to facilitate gender fluidity and self-expression and decided to work together on this submission for the Colour and Pattern issue of Durban is Yours. Steve reached out to his community at Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine and we collaborated on this creative shoot with Durban based photographer Tyla Coppinger. Studying a subject that isn’t fully your passion is something many young students face when trying to align their futures with the goals of parents and elders.


While shooting Pattern Pupils, we all chatted about how creativity, colour and pattern can be incorporated into their lives and what impact it has had on this group of students becoming friends. Studying in Durban has brought this group of young creatives together from various small town around KZN and the surrounding provinces. A common thread of individuality and open-mindedness is shared between all members of this collaboration, coming together to celebrate the healing and positive nature of Patterns and Colours.



Each model/ medical student was asked to share what colour and pattern means to them:


“Colour pattern to me is a mark of where art meets a place of no boundaries and being part of wearing them made me feel fearless in my own artistic form”  – Siya


“Colour and pattern for me mean juggling your thoughts, feelings, mood, emotions and bringing it to life. The colourful makeup, clothes and accessories completely changed my mood to better. I felt all alive and ready to rock the world” – Seni




“Color and pattern means being able to express my true self and creativity.. Wearing clothes made my love for ART grow even more. there were no boundaries to creativity this shoot reminded me to be myself and be fun because life is meant to be enjoyed” – Steve Slay



“Colour and pattern just remind me that there is no limit to how arty one can be. One can use anything when it comes to art….like the old clothes Cydney uses to upcycle new looks because art is all about creativity and bringing your imaginations to life.” – Yami



“Colors and patterns for me are an illustration of how one can be able to portray their feelings in art. Colours to me are a language on their own and I have come into acceptance that not everybody understands that language and it’s completely okay. I get to align with my inner child and being brave enough to be bold in a world with so many restrictions, colours lift my self-esteem to another level. Colours and patterns make me break boundaries that have been set by society.” – Nandi




Location: The Graffiti yard on Noble Road in Glenwood

Murals: Various Local Graffiti Artists



Clothing, Stylist, Painted chairs and Frames: PatternNation – Cydney Eva Pattern

@pattern.nation @cydeva


Additional Clothing and Jewelry:

@beaded_snapbacks Canada (Indigenous beaded earrings)

@seatbelts_and_openspaces Botswana (long yarn earrings green/yellow)

@funkypantssa South Africa (patterned spandex shorts)



Tyla Coppinger



Siyabonga Sibusiso Shongwe “Asante Baraka” @siyabonga_sbushongwe

S’bongiseni Ntuli @seniphemba_senieh

Steve Slay Mabena @steve_slay

Yami Mpungose @yami7048

Nandipha Mhlongo @nandziie_

2 Responses to “Pattern Pupils: A Durban is Ours Submission”
  1. Thulakoni Memela says:

    This is awesome, S/O to Steve Slay for always coming through for his friends. You awesome my guy♥️

  2. Thami says:

    Wow guys this is beauty at its best. Amazing art you have out here. Keep up the extraordinary work, this is epic. ❤❤❤💋💋💋💋

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