Arial views of Angkor, Cambodia

A day after landing safely in Cambodia, the family and I were offered a helicopter ride over the Town of Angkor. The original capital of Cambodia. I have always loved aerial views of the earth, and experiencing it for myself rather than out of a book was a real treat. Of course, I’ve seen aerial views from a plane and maybe it was the great scenery that made it so much better, but It felt different, more exciting. As if only I could capture this amazing man made yet natural view. The idea of travelling the world and finding my own inspirations rather than from the web; gives me an enormous wave of adrenaline, excitement, and anticipation to get home and replicate it in an art form. Maybe that’s what I’ll jump into after university, travel the world to find new patterns, colours, and inspiration, who knows. Anyways, a helicopter…that’s pretty sick in itself!    

Temples of Cambodia

The last stop of our Asia tour took us to Angkor in Cambodia. The majority of our mornings were spent visiting ancient temples from the 9th and 12th century that was re-discovered around the 19th century. The architecture and  stone walls were simply breathtaking. Beautifully detailed carvings, slowly reclaimed by nature told stories at every turn, drawing me more and more into the history and culture of Angkor. The layout of the stones, the growing ivy, the natural decomposition of the building and it colours all left me filled with excitement for some new ideas on patterns and compositions. Outfit 1 – Dress by Sandro Outfit 2 – Shirt by Sandro                – Trousers by Topshop 2015 season               – Antique belt

Vietnam’s museum of ethnography

Back in Vietnam, we visited the museum of ethnography which shows the culture of the current 54 different ethnics in Vietnam. What particularly caught my eye were the costumes, covered with beautiful patterns and vibrant colours. It has been clear to me this last week that textiles is an import trade here. It is often used in ceremonies, for the passing of age for example, where puppets, made of cloths are burned to get ride of bad luck. I had the chance to experince a ceremony in one of the local houses in…. It was an incredibly fascinating experience, the shaman who led the ceremony with her musicians and puppets created an athomephere close to fantasy like for us Europeans. Seeing it in film at the museum was nothing compared to the live experience,. i felt incredibly lucky to sit in their temple and share their tradition with them. Outside were replicas of traditional houses, used by different ethnic groups up living on the mountains which were fantastic to discover and climb into.

Embroidery workshop for the handicapped

  On our way to the airport last saturday to leave Vietnam, we stopped by a workplace for handicapped people born from parents  exposed to  agent orange during the Vietnam war. One of the main skills practiced was embroidery. The walls of the room were covered in hand stitched paintings. Although they had to work with a portfolio of designs , the choice of colours, threads and personal style gave each piece it’s unique charm. The main stitch that they were using was a filling in running stitch, using 2 strands of wool. The most impressive ones for me, are the black and white pieces, they are full of depths and truly look like photographs. There are also beautiful horizons and abstract pieces.    

Van Phuc – The silk village

Van Phuc, a village not far from Hanoi, has been known for it’s quality silk for over 1200 years.The village’s fields abled them to farm and produce their own silk. However with the urbanisation and development of the country, these fields were turned into suburbian towns of Hanoi. Due to this the village now has to import the silk cocoons from other areas before proceding with the silk making process. Nowdays, the silk looms are mechanised to speed up the production method, however the original manual looms are still on show in the village. The director of the factory took some time to show us how the machanical machines work.  These punched wooden sheets are used to program the machines to create the designs on the silk.    

Impressions of Vietnam

While we drive for hours, the window view paints a scene of colours and shapes. Around us, a hundred shades of green, and from mustard yellow, sky blue to green, coloured houses sit like flowers in a field. The price of the land is too high, so narrow houses grow tall, and three meters wide plots try to stretch towards the sky. But a layer of dirt and poverty spreads through the horizon, shading the colours grey and leaving houses unfinished. Sometimes, large palaces, wide balconies, and ornate walls stand out of the faded streets… Two days ago, the first typhoon of the year arrives: trees, electric cables and banners fell to the ground. The fields are flooded, the streets are wet. Everywhere, people in anoraks are tidying up the damage.  The sight is simultaneously beautiful and tearful, but we drive by, following the rhythm of the loud hooting streets   Ninh Binh Village        

Miyako Island, Japan

  Hi everyone! I’m in OKINAWA! I have been so busy lately, taking in all this exciting culture and walking through the lively streets of the market. But as promised, I’ve saved some time to share it all with you. Our original decision behind our trip to Asia was to practice Karate and train with our masters in Okinawa. So my evenings have mostly been composed of hard work and sweat, topped off of course, with lovely Japanese dinners. Half way through our week however, our masters invited us on an amazing two-day boat trip to Miyako Island. We were welcomed into a traditional ryokan home, left to fish with local fisherman and best of all, scuba dive in the amazing wonderland called the sea.   My talent doesn’t lie in film editing, but the experience was so inspirational in terms of colours and patterns I had to share it with you. So here it goes…  

Paul Klee exhibition

Today, after a Physio lesson for my almost recovered knee, I headed off to the Centre Pompidou in Paris to visit the Paul Klee exhibition that opened back in April. I was very impressed by his work and by how much there was to see. To summarise the artist in question, Paul Klee is a Swiss/German painter from the early 20th century.(1879 -1940) He is largely associated with the Expressionist movement but was ceaselessly reinventing himself, shifting from abstract to figurative works making him a multifaceted artist. He is also widely known for his colour theories, an interest of his that started after a trip to Tunisia  He once said: “ Colour and I are one. I am a painter”. ( April 1914)  Colour had a big role in a lot of his work, transforming simplistic lines into very illustrative pieces. It is definitely worth a visit if you are around Paris this summer. The exhibition ends on August the 1st and you can find more information on https://www.centrepompidou.fr . I’ll stop babling on, here are a few photos of the exhibition. There is also a very cool rooftop restaurant at the top of the building with an amazing view onto Paris!

All good plans go stray

Yes yes, I have been away for a while… After spending weeks planning my summer so well, packing in all sorts of adventures and experiences to do and share with you all, it was just my luck that a week before my first summer holiday my knee dislocated during one of my kickboxing classes …  So, unfortunately, I have spent these last few weeks sitting and distracting myself with tv shows… However I have just started physio and my knee is slowly working again, so hopefully I should be back on track for my trip to Asia in 3 weeks time. Which I am looking extremely forward to sharing with you all! Although my injury has put a downer on these last few weeks and led me to procrastinate in terms of textiles work I have done some drawings. A new style that I’ve recently started and which I will hopefully develop as I think they will work really well as embroidered illustrations. I’ve already started embroidering some of them as presents, so once they have been given away, I will show you what it is I’ve managed to create!  

10 Embroidery Instagram feeds to follow

    1 ) Sarahkbenning       Sarah is a contemporary embroiderer who’s designs fit perfectly in today’s trends of rugs, plants, and vintage furniture. Her frames are always full of colour and have so much going on!         2) Teeteeheehee     I absolutely love Teresa’s embroidery. her illustrations are beautiful and her stitches spotless. I like how she uses empty space as part of her design concept. Her feed is always really colourful and inspirational.         3) Memorialstitches     This is the feed of artist Carrie Violet. Her designs are all quite emotional and ghostly which I love! Plus, her cat that makes the occasional appearance is simply adorable.         4) Lizlpayne       Liz Payne is one of the first textiles artists I found on Instagram and contrary to previous artists, her work is completely abstract. Her use of colour and texture really makes her work stand out.         5) Rehabbedhandmade     US-based artist, Rebecca does plant based embroideries, with cactuses being more or less the center of attention throughout her hoops. Being a fashion fanatic myself, I also like her occasional #ootd posts.   […]