Just as you enter the V&A from the Grand Entrance on Cromwell Road, to your left you will come to this wonderful exhibit about the life of John Lockwood Kipling, Father of the famous poet, Rudyard Kipling. It’s not all that often that you get the opportunity to see this kind of Indian heritage, but on display at this exhibition, your senses are spoilt. Historical pictures of India through the Victorian ages, fused together with Lockwood Kipling’s own illustrations, structural designs and photography of his students in Mumbai.
Central Saint Martins graduate and one of London’s newest emerging designers, Molly Goddard, is holding a new, interactive exhibition at Greenwich’s NOW Gallery where you are invited to sit and embroider one of her floor to ceiling tulle dresses for free. When an opportunity like this comes up we just had to go and check it out for ourselves!
In one large, sunlit room, the six colourful oversized dresses hang from the ceiling on pulleys so that the whole length of the dress can eventually be covered. You are encouraged to sit on one of the chairs around the dresses and embroider absolutely anything you like on them.
For Molly, the exhibition is about people ‘enjoying doing something with their hands’ and she hopes that people from all walks of life will come and make their mark on one of her dresses.
Around the room are simple and clear instructions for basic embroidery stitches, meaning anyone from an absolute beginner to an embroidery artist can come and express their creativity on the dresses. This is such a lovely way for everyone to experience embroidery and is a fun way to introduce people to the traditional craft. The whole exhibition is also very child friendly with blunt, plastic needles and scissors attached to a chain in the centre, making it an excellent activity for the whole family to take part in.
Collecting a oversized needle and some thread from the central podium, I chose a blank space and began to stitch directly onto the tulle. The whole experience was very relaxing and there was no pressure on what you did with the thread so you could just experiment and let your imagination run wild!
Each little stitch helps the dresses to grow and evolve and it was very exciting to be able to add my own personal mark amongst all the others in what feels like a huge community project.
The exhibition only opened and already the bottom of the dresses are filling up with an array of interesting designs and colour from a variety of different people. I can’t wait to see what they will look in February when the exhibition closes and one of the dresses will be auctioned off for charity.
Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of this very unique interactive art installation!
The exhibition runs from 4 November 2016 to 19 February 2017
Monday to Friday 10am – 7pm
Saturday and Sunday 11am – 4pm
Closed for Christmas 24 December – 2nd January
The Gateway Pavilions
By Jessica Eykel