The festive season can involve a fair amount of travelling to and fro to see family and friends, and so it was that I found myself passing through London en route for Brighton. This helpfully presented the opportunity to go to the Anthropologie Gallery at 131-141 King’s Road to see the work of textile artist Lou Gardiner.
The Gallery occupies two shop windows to the far right of the store ‘Anthropologie’ and a room-sized area behind the window displays which allows for a generous display of work.
I heard a while ago about Lou Gardiner from a young friend of mine and had already seen online her sumptuous velvet cushions in royal colours, enriched with decorative embroidery which have appeared at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Show in Manchester. Seeing the work in ‘real life’, was another experience altogether.
The pieces in this exhibition included velvet cushions and vast pouffes (that could provide seating for two at least!), complex embroidered wall hangings, framed textile pieces, hugedecorative silk scarves and a wonderful embroidered quilt, that would be at home on a bed, on a wall, or perhaps even thrown across the back of a film-star.You can see it hanging immediately behind the artist in the photograph below
Best of all, Lou Gardiner herself was in residence, sat at her sewing machine (which I was pleased to see is the same as mine!) and she was willing to talk to us about her work.
Many of the designs represented were based on natural forms: particularly striking were those based on corals, with lots of rich reds and pinks, involving massed stitching and encrusted with beads. I loved them! The current exhibition is on until the end of January 2016. Catch it if you can and if you can’t, have a look at the website: http://www.lougardiner.co.uk.