Step out to the Marina on a no. 7 bus to take in the sea air and enjoy both the Grey Walls Gallery at the Laughing Dog and The Fair Trade Shop on the first floor of the Boardwalk. The chance to see some beautiful products and art at the Fair Trade Shop, as well as some yacht watching and a stroll to see Brighton’s fishing boats.
The first three (DSC 0059, 0061 and 0068) are by Nilanjana Bannerji who is deaf woman and works at Silence, a group in Kolkata, India that was set up to support differently abled producers. I visited them in 2017 and was struck by how lovely their artwork was. She did Two Little Birds, Peacock and Waterlilies, which all celebrate nature. Prints and cards are also available at the shop.
Gamal Kolthona is an Egyptian artisan who is a master of applique. This is a detail from a huge wallhanging approximately 3 metres x 2 metres. The artwork is initially drawn on paper, then holes are made in the paper with a needle. This is then laid on the backing cloth and chalk applied over the holes so that an outline of the design is transferred to the backing. The artisan then cuts out the cotton pieces roughly to size and handstitched them in place. Then embroiders and overstitches for embellishment. This is an art form that dates back to the time of the Pharaohs and is kept alive by around twenty artisans in a single street in Cairo. They show internationally including several places in the U.S and in Japan.
Philip David is a local Brighton artist who lives in Hanover and works in oil pastels. He was first inspired by a trip to Morocco in 1987 and then a subsequent visit to Iceland. Both countries have spectacular landscapes. His seagull is obviously inspired by our Brighton flock!
Purkal are a women’s charity set up in a very rural area north of Dehradun, India. This group was set up by a retired Indian couple – the wife taught the local women quilting to help them earn an income and the husband founded a free school for the local children which excels in many subjects including Physics and Theatre. The women’s group are part of Fair Trade Forum India and sell their work internationally. Their fish quilt is beautiful and they have other smaller examples with ‘Village Life’, ‘Butterfly Joy’, ‘Sunflowers’ and more.