Just returned from another wondrous trip to Bhuj, this time in 49-50 drop dead degrees of heat. Hallucinating through the haze of heat i visited weavers, tie and dyers and printers. Accompanied by our adorable guide and translator Salim who transported us out to the villages and compounds. So sensitive and understanding he was such a help to us, even inviting us to his family home for a scrumptious lunch. In fact everyone we met were so amazing to us, always inviting us to join them in incredible feasts.
A great surprise to this trip was visiting my very adventurous friend Lisa Hallwho has moved to Bhuj with her 3 cats. From Woollahra couturier to Bhuj desert queen she has settled into a wonderful abode surrounded by a world of appliqué, mirrors and embrodery. It is here she designs and cuts creating her new web-site. Discovering all the very clever local artisans, every day is an exciting new experience. She is like a glittering jewel covered head to toe in endless bracelets,toe and ear rings....a true nomad. Visit her web-site www.madamehall.com
We stayed in the notoriously faulty towers hotel Prince which is permanently under renovation. Looking like it had been bombed within an inch of its life, we had to scramble over boulders, rubble and endless desert dust to get to our room. I think the only one left in the hotel not gutted. During the night giant iron girders would fall screaming to the ground and my partner would roar naked down to reception in a total fury and semi coma at 3am pleading for them to stop the noise. He was told "Very sorry Sir, noise will totally stop immediately". He would arrive back to the room in a complete frenzy and the noise would start up again. Get the picture.
Here are some of our latest pics.
Posing with Madame Lisa Hall couturier...now desert queen designer in Bhuj
Madame Hall's post box
A woman who lives on the roundabout in the main street of Bhuj. She just landed there and never left. Her home is built of recycled rags. She sits there all day in heat reaching the mid 50s. At night she crawls inside the rags for some peace.
Close up detail of rag home and smiling roundabout guru.
Visiting the home of Shamji who specialises in hand weaving and uses natural indigo
Shamji's wonderful brew of indigo.....continually bubbling
Freshly dyed indigo wool on the line drying
Some of Shamji's gorgeous indigo weaves that I will be exhibiting in my SPECIAL PIECES exhibition at Barometer gallery in Paddington June 15-23 (see EVENTS on web-site)
Shamji's mother getting our meal together. She is a brilliant cook and invited us to lunch.
Salim (our translator and guide) and Shamji enjoying lunch with us.