Third Week – White Linen, Indigo and a Birthday

Week three and we have been dyeing in the garden, even if it was just reviving an old indigo vat, which due to circumstance has lain idle this year. The impromptu garden set up with Cat worked a treat. It’s always a little daunting when planning a ‘play date’ as you never know what your guest may bring to dye. In this case Cat brought a sari, a full length sari! Cat was a dab hand at twisting so the bundle was dipped twice then retwisted and dipped another couple times. She was thrilled with the effect achieved but watch this space as it’s not finished yet… Buoyed by the sari adventure we relocated the indigo vat to the pallet boards, and created an instant ‘dyeing theatre’. There’s nothing like the surprise on someone’s face as they watch the white bandage emerge greeny-yellow and immediately starts turning blue. If you’re in the area on Saturday, please drop in for an indigo taster. Between 12 and 3, we’ll have an indigo vat ready to dye a cotton tote bag and use some simple shibori techniques to create a pattern. It’s free to participate as part of the Florence Trust ‘Make it Creative’ project. Due to lockdown regulations we will have to monitor numbers.

It has been so good to see the local residents really supporting the opening up of the church grounds and taking a keen interest in the dye garden. We’ve really met out pet quota this week, dogs for days… some happily taking a break in the garden while other enjoyed the full exhibition experience! We even had the neighbour’s cat sunning and surveying, on a socially distanced tree stump of course. As you may have guessed we are very child and pet friendly. Youngsters who can’t see over the top of ‘Journey Retraced‘ have had a wonderful time running in to the centre of the spirals. We are humbled by the number of visitors who have travelled to visit us and BALCONYLIFE, whether traversing London or coming from farther afield. For those unable to visit, we hope these posts and our instagram feeds help bring the garden a little closer to you. One of the many fascinating things regarding the garden is how the rust objects have started to create their own marks on the metal surfaces. The shoe lasts in particular are leaving wonderful ‘footprints’. As part of the final week’s harvest festival, we will be encouraging visitors to wrap a piece of rusted metal from the collection. These will be unwrapped on our final Sunday.

Quite separately ‘White Fence’, which was created for the Restrictions exhibition, has found a new temporary home in the church nave. As a piece about Covid, documentation and mortality, it was particularly poignant to see it illuminated on the Sunday morning by the sun shining through the stained-glass windows, in such a calm and reflective setting.

Text and images © moderneccentrics

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