His Royal Highness Prince Charles speaking with guests at the launch of 'Threads of Change,' an exhibition in London.
19 November 2008
International designers have worked with 60 women whose selected works are being showcased at an exhibition in London
His Royal Highness Prince Charles attended the opening of ‘Threads of Change’, an exhibition running in London until 22 November 2008 that is showcasing the work of female artisans from Pakistan.
Organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) in Pakistan, the aim of this exhibition is to provide skilled women from Pakistan with direct access to European markets for their high quality textile products, soft furnishings and couture. It is also part of a long-term social development project designed to improve their livelihoods.
Up to 30 samples are on show, ranging from cushion covers to dresses, bedding, shawls and wall hangings, all of which are hand-made. Women from the north, south-east and Thar Desert regions of Pakistan worked with five international designers, four from the United Kingdom and one from Venice, Italy, to produce the pieces for the show.
The partnership between international designers and the women began with a series of design workshops held in Karachi and in the Northern Areas of Pakistan in September 2007. Since then, 40 women artisans have been involved in producing the textile crafts on display which will be marketed by the international designers.
The Prince, who celebrated his 60th birthday last week, praised the designers and the artisans for their work, which is being displayed at The Prince’s School for Traditional Arts, set up by Prince Charles to regenerate and sustain traditional art forms both in the UK and internationally.
Curator of the exhibition, Tony Charalambous, sees this project as a promising beginning to a new trend of reintroducing such embroidery skills to the fashion market.
It was the first time that the skilled artisans’ work was shown to international buyers and retailers. “We want them to see how this wonderful embroidery or weaving or cross stitch or tapestry can be made into wonderful pieces of fashion,” said Mr Charalambous.
Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma expressed hope that the exhibition would open up windows of opportunity.
This exhibition is open free to the public until Saturday, 22 November 2008 at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London EC2A 3SG, UK. Opening hours are 10 am – 8 pm, except the evening of Wednesday, 19 November (from 6 pm onwards).
“The skills that are represented here and the artistry that comes from centuries of application is worthwhile in its own right, but what delights me is that this project pertains to rural upliftment, poverty alleviation through gainful employment and lastly, something that is dear to my heart, the financial empowerment of women,” he said.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, conveyed his thanks to the organisers and said the project promises not only economic empowerment for Pakistan’s women, who make up half of the population, but has also brought the global social development agenda to the heart of fashion and textile industry.
Also on display at the exhibition are traditional textile products designed by the artisans themselves, and audio and visual documentation of the women’s lives, livelihoods and aspirations.
We need to have more of such exhibitions for the economic empowerment of women from rural areas of Pakistan.
keep it up i am verymuch