Today I met up with the lovely City Girl At Heart (Georgie) I told her about the time I spent in China as a student. She was captivated by my story and blogged about it. I wanted to share her blogpost and our conversation with you on my blog:
Last September I went to Decorex International the renowned interior design event at the Royal Chelsea Hospital. This year it will be at Kensington Palace..how posh and lovely!
As a lover of lovely things this is right up my street and I can’t wait to go again.
As a lover of Social Media I was beside myself when I heard their Social Media Campaign for this year was:
‘to create a mood board on Pinterest influenced by this year’s central show theme of the Silk Route, the historical network of interlinking trade paths deriving from the lucrative Chinese silk trade, which was to have a major influence on UK and European design.’
Intrigued and inspired I got pinning!
That was today and what an utterly fascinating conversation we had:
The chosen Decorex 2013 theme ‘Silk Route’ is incredibly pertinent to Jessica.
She stayed in Shanghai for a few months in 1989 to research her University thesis ‘From the Wasted Years To The Rising of the Black Sun’ as part of her degree in Theatre Design. Jessica stayed in University Halls of Residence and was among the last westerners to leave Shanghai during the horrific Tiananmen Square protests.
Her time in China has had a profound influence on her creativity throughout her career and was a key moment in her life that has moulded who she is today.
” I had no idea how incredibly lucky I was to live in a country where I am free to express my own thoughts and feelings,” explained Jessica. “Since being in China I have appreciated the ‘everyday’ it has become the bedrock of who I am”
Whilst in China Jessica met local artists and fell in love with their calligraphy.
“I adore how their experiences and attitudes are encapsulated in one mark”
” I love the idea of being brave enough to to transform a piece of work with a layer of glaze or the stroke of a brush. How exhilarating and empowering that one bold move can make a painting come alive “
However, Jessica was made acutely aware of the lack of freedom the Chinese had to express themselves through art. Despite reclaiming their art heritage and ancient operatic culture after the destruction of the cultural revolution the re-creation was completely restricted.
“It had to be an exact replication, right down to the flutter of an eyelash, devoid of any artistic expression or interpretation . Inspirational yes, but also incredibly sad.”
On her return Jessica was inspired to write and design a play based on her experiences in China called ‘Remember this’
In so much of Jessica’s work you can see that China has continued to be an inspiration to her, particularly her Passion collection.
She is currently working on a sculpture collection inspired by the Shanghai skyline and rocky mountains. Chinese gardens often have circular windows in their bridges or trellises that frame the view beyond, Jessica wants to somehow incorporate this idea into her sculptures. They sound amazing, I can’t wait to see them at Decorex 2013 along with the launch of her Romo collaboration where her paintings will be printed onto silk and textiles for soft furnishings and scarves.
Lovely chatting to you Georgie!! XXX