As an artist and designer I have always loved the vibrancy of life in South London.
I graduated from Camberwell School of Art and went on to become a freelance textile designer in the home furnishings industry. I recently returned to my creative roots in Peckham after spending several years living and working in rural France. The sounds and smells of Peckham high street came flooding back into my world and I love the cornucopia of colour, pattern and cultures that pervade the shops and market stalls. Of course some parts of Peckham have changed dramatically in my absence, and the old timers have certain regrets about the sterilisation and gentrification taking place, but the soul of the area is still there if you are prepared to make the effort.
In a tribute to the area, I created a set of lino cut prints celebrating the street names of South London, choosing streets with a botanical link to them. Sometimes obvious, sometimes obscure, for example Love Walk is represented by the Nigella flower, commonly known as Love in a mist. I call the images the ‘Rooted in..’ collection and have extended it to include Rye Lane, Elm Grove, and other London streets that are close to my heart.
It was a leap of faith to start my own soft furnishings collection, and I have used the lino cuts printed onto vintage French linen and trimmed with traditionally dyed Nigerian fabric as the first collection in my new business. I have relished the opportunity of sourcing fabrics and beads from my husband’s native Nigeria and am now working on a collection of hand embroidered and beaded cushions and berth rows combining my love for vintage French textiles and the traditional starch resist fabrics from Nigeria, inspired by the richness of colour that I have rediscovered in South London.