Bridging Arts

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Haberdashery on Goldhawk Road

 Of great interest to west London embroiderers - A1 Fabrics at the entrance to Shepherds Bush market (stockists of every fabric imaginable) have opened a haberdashery department upstairs. Hannah Walker discovered it this week. Hopefully a good source of raw materials for our sewing packs....

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Old friends at a House of Commons reception

En route through the Great Hall in the Houses of Parliament (the only place you are allowed to take pictures) to a reception marking the 30th anniversary of the Asian Women's Resource Centre. I had always thought it was a fantastic organisation but had not quite realised just how extraordinary. Five women were given rewards at the reception (hosted by Brent  MP Sarah Teather) for overcoming truly shocking personal circumstances involving physical and sexual abuse.
It was good to see old friends who had taken part in A Stitch in Time. Also Meherun Ahmed who runs the AWRC. We have a funding application to Faiths in Action to run needlework classes in Harlesden and Harrow with the Royal School of Needlework, hosted by the AWRC. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Contacting winners, military goldwork and swathes of white fabric

We have shortlisted five winners for the 2009 British Sari Story competition, and during the weekend four gradually pick up their emails and phone messages to get in touch - to hear the news. Am awaiting an email from the fifth - then we can make an announcement. The overall winner will be announced later this year, once our partner in the project, RCKC , has made up the five shortlisted entries (in India).
A grey morning in London. But seriously grand goldwork on the cuff in the window of a military tailor in Mayfair.

En route to the National Gallery pass Dolce and Gabbana. Jeans with a Bollywood sparkle.
At the National Gallery am delighted to find the catalogue of Phantom, an exhibition by Alison Watt two years ago that I really liked. Couldn't afford the catalogue at the time but now it has found its way to the Sale Table.

Have thought a lot about the inspirations to these extraordinary paintings as we've worked on Stitch 
and the British Sari Story. Especially Madame Moitessier's dress (Ingres 1856)
And the folds of fabric in Zurburan's monks' habits - in particular this one, Saint Serapion (1628).

Her own, huge canvases, which she was painting at the National Gallery at the time of the exhibition, are stunning.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Judging the British Sari Story competition, ice in the Alps

Later ... judging the British Sari Story 2009 competition with Amit Rastogi of RCKC in Ealing. Exciting to see so many designs, with so much potential. We have asked for a British Sari and a British way of wearing the sari. We think we spot the winner  - but we have lots of good entries and shortlist five. The overall winner will be announced later this year.  RCKC always seems like a magical place, filled with glorious saris, beading and embroidery  - resplendently vivid and colourful in comparison with Ealing Road, Alperton, and the bus station outside...
In the meantime a blog reader, skiing in the Alps, says ice hangs like lace in the trees.

News from Nilesh Mistry and a painted elephant

Nilesh Mistry, who won the British Sari Story competition in its first year in 2007, emails with photos of one of the amazing painted elephants he has created for Elephant Parade, London 2010.
"Elephant Parade is an exciting campaign that will shine a multi-coloured spotlight on the urgent crisis faced by the endangered Asian elephant. The event will see over 250 brightly painted life-size elephants located over central London this summer 2010."
Nilesh's elephant, as we would expect, is completely stunning.