In late 2006 Zika travelled to South America over the summer break. The initial motivation in going to South America was to study the transposition and evolution of Iberian Baroque, and the amalgamation of indigenous decorative traditions into these architectural programs. The cities of Potosi and Sucre in Bolivia were important because of the wealth generated by silver mining and the subsequent building of major public and religious edifices. While this was fascinating, he also found myself drawn to the active local weaving production, particularly those from the Tarabuco and Jalq’a communities. While some of this is tourist oriented, and some has generic universal decorative schemes; there is a revival of specific indigenous traditions and a championing of its continued evolution.
Specifically, it was the extraordinary Jalq’a designs with their incorporation of bizarre mythical god-beasts into a frenzied maze-like design that made a lasting impression. While he was not interested in incorporating the figurative elements into his own work, the ambiguous linear figure/ground designs were the starting point for a new body of spatial research.