Tonight what with the jolly good company, the flow of the wine and the whiff of cinnamon in the bread pudding, the RAGWORKS art exhibition launch at The Centre For Better Health was a blast.

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People came from  Hackney, Haringey, Waltham Forest and Islington to enjoy wall-hangings, embellished bags, poetry readings and story-telling. The time went past quickly in a warm basement gallery out of the fog. People loved the nod to Andy Warhol’s “Marilyn” in the form of “Girl With A Pearl Earring”. Another woman wanted to take “Cinderella” home and a guy gave us all  a West Indian story prompted by “Anansi” who is depicted hanging onto his RAGWORKS rope.

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We had poems about a beloved father, pigeons in Lloyd Park Walthamstow, being in a prison cell, ‘duppies’ in the dark and experiences of being homeless. There was much more.

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Someone visited from the art therapy class so we enjoyed more vibrant art and smashing words.

In the Gallery  yellow light,  the RAGWORKS wall-hangings look sparkly with their winking sequins and shiny buckles. “We Three Kings” are imposing in their finery and size. The Leyton Reminiscence Quilt served as an adornment and a practical mat for any visiting toddlers .

Debbie from the poetry-sharing sessions at the Centre For Better Health presented a bouquet of gorgeous carnations to the artist  as a gift from one creative being to another. Much appreciated . She read poems galore then shared some of her very interesting stories about machine sewing back in the day.

Do you know how nice it is to sit amongst the cream of human beings who want to share their craft, their captivating words, and to be under the colours and shapes in the textile wall-hangings? Beautiful.

Twas an organic evening!

Bringing home International Women’s Day 2012

To the 72 year old Chinese Mauritian Londoner who over the year left the confines of her kitchen and  crochet,  stuffed her Freedom Pass into her noodle- box and went afar over the bridge to Stratford to sing ,  marched the Black Path for crocus bulbs out of Organiclea’s muddy bags, and stitched curtains for The Mill, went on across the Lea  into Darnley Road to mould and finger clay, on to Queensbridge Road to thread beads, into Ridley Road Market to use a mic, upstairs into Intergenerational BSix’s unknown, and tasted Hackney big time, for the first time: To she who witnessed cusses on stage and learnt the joy of Hip Hop and S.E. Singers’ soul, who banged wool into felt in E17 and copied William M’s designs, to she who traipsed castles in Kent and twisted into shape a tea pot of plastic crochet whilst observing earth works from a tower on The Greenway, to that woman I offer my salute.

NB And she couldn’t have done it without Up Your Street.