Thursday, 29 March 2012

Colour that Cheers

An explosion of colour will go off tomorrow morning not far from Covent Garden tube station in London – and I’m going to miss it! Alas!  As a fan of the Mistress of Colour, Swedish fashion designer Gudrun Sjoöden, I’ve waited years for her to open a shop in London. It’s finally happening tomorrow but I can’t be there.  Anyone who does go along to Monmouth Street will be treated to a feast of fashion and home textiles in colours and patterns entirely inspired by nature.  I won’t be content now until I’ve had an opportunity to go there myself and be bathed in her colour palette!

What can possibly console me?  Well the postman, actually.  He brought a squashy package this morning, filled with these most amazing coloured locks, sent as a thank-you from friend Clare at Boo’s Attic.  Now that’s a colourful sight to cheer anyone.  Clare is an indie dyer whose yarn-painting has more than a little of the Van Goughs about it.  Striking colours: yes, but none look out of place beside each other and the effect of the whole is a careful consummation of the parts.  Very much in harmony with Gudrun Sjoöden’s fashions in fact.   Neither of these ladies are afraid of colour and use it to enhance their output.   If you’re visiting Fibre-East this summer, look out for Clare on the Boo’s Attic stand.  The artists amongst you won’t be disappointed.

Another piece of good cheer turned up in the post too: an Iranian new year card from friend, guide and comforter Shahin.  It’s bathed in the colours of spring and the symbols of new life in the Zoroastrian faith which is deeply, if today surreptitiously, buried in the Iranian psyche.  Some of Iran’s spring colour palette was shared in the past few days via the unlikely medium of The Guardian.  It must be a real lift to the spirits in such a dry place to see new life emerging in spring. 

The good news is I’m able to return the good wishes by sending her some of the blue wild species hyacinths in the Nowruz card picture:  amazingly I won some in a plant raffle a few years back, donated as a prize by the holder of the National Collection of Hyacinths. He opens his Collection to the public one a year and it’s this Saturday, just  north of Cambridge. With thousands of hyacinths in a myriad of colours all in bloom at once, and with the most amazing scent, that too is something to cheer the spirit. 

With Britain having record high March temperatures and cloudless skies, it may be that my Iranian wild hyacinths will feel ever happier here in the stealthily creeping deserts of East Anglia.  If our water resources here become as critical as in the drier parts of the middle east, we may well become rapidly familiar with the lines of an ancient Iranian poet:   “If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft, And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left, Sell one, and with the dole buy hyacinths, to feed the soul.”  May you too find colours, and scents, to feed your soul this coming week.

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