Exhibitions

The Hounslow Cloth Exhibition at Cranford Library

Company: Creative People & Places Hounslow
Running Time: until 3 September 2024, during usual library opening hours
Price: FREE

This is a free event and open to all, so no ticket is required.

About this event

The most stunning shades in the world are the ones found in nature. This world of possibility and diversity of colour is what first drew artist Bella Gonshorovitz to the ancient practice of making and using natural dyes. 

The process of dyeing fabrics with natural dyes is exciting for many reasons, with each colour being deeply connected to the plant from which it is made (and qualities inherent to the plant’s surrounding ecosystem). Conditions of the soil, the sunlight, the time of year, the way in which material is stored, the pH level of the water, the touch of the human hand and mind handling the dye vat all have an impact on the resulting colour. Very rarely will two dyed fabric lengths end up the exact same shade. This effect mimics the organic way that colours develop in nature. 

The purpose of The Hounslow Cloth project is to situate the natural dye process within the landscape and communities of the London Borough of Hounslow. The resulting artworks portray the diversity, vibrance and vitality of this environment through a series of fabric collages of cloth dyed with flowers, plants, vegetation and kitchen scraps collected from three sites across the borough. 

Bella selected Hounslow Heath, the Salopian Garden in Isleworth and Gurdwara Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha as places to collect dyestuff in collaboration with members of the Hounslow Exhibitions Group and local people. Each site was visited with the community invited to accompany Bella in collecting dyestuff; this created a rich, varied series of conversations, discoveries and sharing of knowledge between artists, gardeners, cooks, community activists and other custodians of Hounslow’s green and community spaces. 

With thanks to: Stephen Bishop and Andrew Peake of the London Borough of Hounslow Countryside Team; Mick Massie, and others who joined us on our walks on the Heath; Sally Tillson and the team and volunteers at Cultivate London; Kamaljeet Kaur and the community of Gurdwara Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha; Cristina Schek, Lukasz Kapuscinski, and Kamaljeet Kaur for their photography that is included in this exhibition.

About Bella Gonshorovitz: Bella is a multidisciplinary creative practitioner and an author. She collaborated with artists such as Cathie Pilkington RA on public art installations and exhibitions. Her debut book ‘Grow, Cook, Dye, Wear – From seed to style the sustainable way’ was published by DK/Penguin Random House in 2022, aiming to connect the dots between the practice of growing your own, cooking, natural dye and creative clothes making. Bella is passionate about working with communities, bringing the global issue of the climate crisis to our local environments through art and re-connecting us to the notion that all we consume comes from nature.

About Creative People & Places
This project has been curated by members of the Hounslow Exhibitions Group, formed of members of the local community in collaboration with the Creative People & Places Hounslow Visual Arts Programme, which presents new and original exhibitions in libraries, cafes and other public spaces across the borough. CPP Hounslow is a consortium led by Watermans.

Visit www.hounslowvisualarts.org.uk or email daisy@watermans.org.uk for more information or to get involved. 

Image credit: Cristina Schek, from a workshop at the Salopian Garden, Isleworth, July 2023

This is a free event and open to all, so no ticket is required.

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