Fellow Whitstable environmentalist Sarah Lonsdale wrote a lovely article about Newton Paisley and the trend for bringing nature into your home for the Sunday Telegraph. She is a wonderful writer and was a pleasure to talk to about my unusual journey. I was very overexcited to be talked about in the same breath as Timorous Beasties, whose work I love. One of the big benefits additional was that it made me tidy my studio.
In May I attended the wedding of dear friends at the Lewa Wildlife Conservatory in Kenya. This incredible place was a cattle ranch 40 years ago and has been transformed by the Craig family into one of the most successful private wildlife conservation initiatives in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As a wedding present for the bride and groom, both conservation biologists, I designed a textile that includes species from Lewa that they are especially fond of or interested in. I used the full moon of their wedding weekend, and the horizon of Mount Kenya, as visible from Lewa.
I was invited by Annika Shelley, the organiser of Hybrid Mode, at Stockholm Design Week, to come and speak about my work. My talk was entitled “More than just pretty pictures: Textiles and the conservation of endangered species.” I talked about how I became interested in portraying biodiversity through the medium of decorative textiles and why I think it is important to engage new people with the stories of species and their struggles for survival. I was chuffed to bits to be on the stage with the formidable Prof Rebecca Early, one the world’s leading proponents of sustainable fashion. Also on the programme was Eduardo Escobedo of RESP who works towards sustainability with luxury labels like Chanel, Armani, Gucci, Bulgari, and Burberry. It was a fascinating experience and I was very encouraged by the response.