Over the summer, Verdant Works has been working closely with Dundee International Women’s Centre to explore the past links between India and the subcontinents and Dundee – via the city’s thriving jute industry.
Raw jute fibre was first imported into Britain in 1791 by the East India Company, which traded in Bengal. The links that were then established between India and the subcontinents and Dundee is being celebrated with an art project and a special celebration day on Saturday 13 August, at Verdant Works.
Textile artist Morag Gray and Verdant Works‘ Learning and Audiences Officer, Anna Murray began working with the ‘Bazorg’ group, which translates as ‘elders’ in Urdu, with an art making project in March. The group, who largely come from India, Calcutta and Pakistan, worked with fibres which represented ‘home’ – sari silks and jute woven in Dundee. They wove the pieces together and thought about words or place names that meant something to the group.
The group have continued working on this theme by felt making flags – similar to the traditional Prayer Flags – which will be embellished with words and symbols that represent journeys and think about ‘home’. This will decorate the High Mill and Courtyard at Verdant Works during the celebration event in August.
The family-friendly celebration will take place on Saturday 13 August, from 12 noon and will showcase the artwork produced with the Bazorg group. There will also be face painting, sitar music, Indian food, storytelling for children and dance performances and workshops.
The programme includes:
12:30 & 3 pm Traditional sitar music
12:30 – 2:30 pm Patterns & Symbols – Face painting for all
1 & 3 pm Dance performance & Bollywood for children
2 pm Talk: Dhaka to Dundee- the story of jute
2:30 pm Storytelling for families
3 pm ‘A taste of India’ food
Everyone is welcome and all activities are included in the normal admission on a drop in basis, no need to book. Admission entitles you to a free annual pass, visitors can come back to the museum as often as they like for a year!