If its possible to fall in love with a lady in her 70s then i just have.
Oh what a darling lady I have been staying with.
As you can see from this photo... she had a similar sense of being daft as me.
Carol and friends.
I find it fascinating that you can meet someone in a random situation and you may be generations apart but you can still have chemistry, its so lovely. It's happened a few times on this trip and that is what has made the trip special. I have met so many native New Zealanders. People I wouldn't meet if I was backpacking.
Me, Carol, and our mates.
So, just to catch up, post Napier, I have been staying in the 'eggy' town of Rotorua nested in a volcano crater.
My hostess with the mostess above, was an executor of New Zealand women and all that is great about them in the most endearing and inspiring of ways.
She was my last official host before I stay with friends. Here is some of her work .... She specialises in Crewel work which I have to say is my favourite of the hand sewing variety and I might get myself some lessons.... if only Carol lived near me? We could swap ....
Most of the ladies I meet here have got a zest for creativity and for life which keeps them young and forward thinking. It is interesting to see that embroidery and textiles has grown so importantly into New Zealand culture that it has snow balled and is now such a thriving and large community. Women seem to be wanting more. They seem to have got stronger....? I am talking off the top off my hat here but I am sure that textiles has had a large part to play in it. It provides a threadlike and dense infrastructure of community and it enables women to be women.
These are women put their creativity and craft high up on the list of priorities. I would suspect that it is easy for their partners to envy them as they are always off doing something, socialising and sewing. They don't just sew a bit here and there but have active work rooms and dab in every sort of textile creativity you can imagine. They all have specialist subjects and teach their craft to others as well as going on every workshop available. They manage and run the Guilds, act as president, regional reps as well as doing a lot for their local community by encouraging others to stitch and express their creativity and caring for their family usually full-time. The lady I just stayed with does an exceptional amount of work for charity and the church, finishing long arduous projects that other people haven't been able to manage and taking on a steady stream of unpaid work for various organisations. I would imagine that it is mainly done for the enjoyment but I also think that in some cases these skills may be taken for granted. The big question is, IS the community going to possibly lose this craft in a generations time? Is it being maintained at colleges and art schools…? Is it given the cultural importance and support that it needs to develop? Is it being modernised and keeping fresh? I certainly think it is doing a lot of things right... Well they got me out here didn't they?! How exciting and cool is that? I am still flattered.
Maybe theres nothing to worry about and it is such an integral part of this society that it is metamorphosing naturally. I mean look at WOW for example……
But is the gap in-between the likes of WOW and the Embroiderers Guild to big a gap to bridge? Or are they naturally related just not visibly so as yet?
Is there contemporary work going on?
WHY are these younger women not joining the GUILD? Is that a problem or will they join later in life?
Does the Guild worry about it?
Bla bla bla.
This is me trying to throw up some wisdom and conjure up some intelligent discussion in my brain which may or may not be of any importance to anyone.
Thoughts thoughts. This discussion seems perfectly legit in my head and I feel like I have something valid to say about the whole matter but trying to formulate these things into any kind of reasonable, legible even interesting discussion is an entirely different matter.
Anyway, I would like to big up these women and their fantastic zeal for life. They are an inspiration to us all and they remind us that life is for living and being positive as it is so short and the only person you can blame for having a boring life or an unfullfilling life experience is yourself.
BUT I would like to raise the issue that I am meeting very few younger women - in their 20's, 30's and 40's.
Maybe we should change the name of embroidery?
Call it …as my mate Jon just suggested …Mbroideree?
That would attract many more young people don't ya think?
Some new random inspirational photos I have been taking. C had all sorts in her lovely house including finished and unfinished handmade dolls in a large glass cupboard. Great for photography. Loved it.
Some handmade toys at C's House .... totally charming.
Isn't he just gorgeous?
LOUISE'S LATEST NEWS BULLETIN.
I have been asked to do a solo exhibition at what will be the first exhibition in our local mill's new exhibition space. It will start next April and will run for 3 months including workshops and a talk.
It is very exciting so watch this space for details.
I have also been asked to exhibit in a trendy super dooper gallery in London as part of a show called 'Illustrated.' It MIGHT MIGHT MIGHT lead to doing a space based piece in London which would be AMAZING....!!! Fingers crossed.... And I will also be doing an exhibition at Bristol's Southmead and Frenchay Hospitals next year so that will be an excuse to visit all my pals!
IF YOU ARE SERIOUSLY INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT ABOUT MY 3,
TWO-DAY 'SUPERSTITCHERS' COURSES
at the mill in Styal village, Cheshire, UK
in the months of January, February or March 2011 then please email me.
Ta Ta for now.
Loufroo Gardinelly Stuff Stuff.