The walls of the Nunnery Gallery will reveal two distinct artistic responses that celebrate the collaboration. A ‘Portrait Gallery’ by Lucy Orta: a frieze of 40 large format canvases depicting the makers involved in the workshops recalls motifs from their migration stories. ‘Story Cloths’made by each makerdepict their physical or metaphorical journeys using a range of dexterous textile craft techniques.
On display will also be exerpts from Needle Around Her Neck (Fair Acre Press), a collection of poems penned by author and Royal Literary Fellow Nathalie Abi-Ezzi, who accompanied the project. A film produced by AKO Storytelling Institute that follows the journey of the Story Cloths will debut at the exhibition.
An inspiring public programme accompanies the exhibition, featuring workshops on upcycling fabric offcuts, Nakshi Kantha embroidery techniques, botanical bundle dyeing, and an introduction to oral history and more, featuring some familiar faces from Traces: Stories of Migration participants. The programme provides opportunities to experience and appreciate the deep connections between storytelling, migration, heritage, and textile-based craft.
Traces: Stories of Migration is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Portal Trust, Foundation for Future London, and the AKO Storytelling Institute, as well as Bromley by Bow Centre, Making for Change as part of The Portal Centre for Social Impact, Rosetta Arts, The Fashion District, and The Lab E20.
You are invited to an intimate, sensorial one-to-one tarot reading with performance artist Noemi Gunea as she interprets her newly created custom major arcana deck, interweaving stories of resistance and revolution with divination, magical imagination, and Eastern European fashion stories.
Come along to a tour of Traces: Stories of Migration with professor and lead artist Lucy Orta, to discover the diverse migration histories and stories woven into the landscape of east London through textile-related practices. There will be three tours taking place across the whole day from 11am-12pm, 2-3pm, and 5.30-6.30pm.
To mark Refugee Week, the Decolonising Fashion and Textiles team from London College of Fashion (LCF) are taking over our Bow Road site with a dazzling showcase of textile autobiographies hand-stitched by London-based refugees and a selection of drop-in activities, exploring storytelling, community mapping, and imagining a more compassionate future. Open to children, families, and visitors of all ages!
Join community textile artist Jasmine Karis as she guides us through the DIY print method of photo transfer, before stitching together and creating your own photographic textile journal to document cherished memories you want to hold close. No experience necessary and all materials provided!
Whether it’s moving to a different place, travelling in our local area, or making our way to school, the things we bring with us on our journeys represent who we are and what matters to us. Join us as we stitch our personal stories and memories onto small 2D fabric bags to bring along to your next adventure. Open to children and families of all ages – all materials provided.
Taking inspiration from nature and the flora around us, learn about the history of natural dyes and use extracts from flower petals and food waste pigments to create your own colourful, bundle dyed designs to take home with you. No experience necessary and all materials provided!
Journeys. These can be physical journeys from one place to another, emotional journeys, or the journeys of life like leaving home, parenthood, friendships, and more. Guided by author Nathalie Abi-Ezzi, explore how to play and experiment with words, shaping your personal lived experiences into poems rooted in place, culture, and selfhood. All levels of experience are welcome.
Bask in an evening celebrating the publication of Needle Around her Neck – a collection of poems penned by Nathalie Abi-Ezzi that takes its cues from the multiplicity of experiences shared during the Traces: Stories of Migration project, weaving more recent migrant stories into the history of the East End rag trade. Expect poetry readings from the collection, a late-night viewing of the exhibition, and a chance to get your copy signed by Nathalie herself.
Come along to an exclusive curator’s tour of Traces: Stories of Migration with curator and researcher Camilla Palestra (CSF Curatorial Associate) to discover the diverse migration histories and stories woven into the landscape of east London through textile-related practices. The tour will end with a Q&A where you can put any questions you have to Camilla.
Spend a cosy summer evening with The Gardening Drawing Club as they take us through the basics of growing organic vegetables and herbs, speaking to seed selection, soil, season, biodiversity, and gardening on a budget. We will also riff off the shapes, colours, and energies we find within plants and seeds to paint and draw our impressions from these botanical encounters. No gardening experience is necessary!
What does it mean to be a Londoner? What does your dream city look like? Join us as we explore the city we live in and make your unique mark through drawing, collaging, and mapping out imagined landmarks to represent the things you care about. Open to children and families of all ages – all materials provided.
Taking cues from nature and our local landscapes, spend a relaxed weekend with artist and creative mind behind Kamipaper Anh Tran, learning how to repurpose and upcycle fabric offcuts to weave and adorn your very own mini wall hangings and coasters. No experience necessary and all materials will be provided!
What is oral history? What makes it distinctive? And why is it so important for marginalised communities in particular? Discover how to capture, share, and pass on your stories through the methodology of oral history and leave with the knowledge to start creating your own audio archives and sound stories. No experience necessary!
Explore the traditional art and craft of Kantha embroidery and its radical history rooted in the experiences of rural Bangladeshi women, nature, storytelling and women’s empowerment. Taking cues from this rich embroidery tradition, you will stitch your own Nakshi Kantha design to represent the stories and messages you want to tell. No experience necessary and all materials provided!
Flags are symbols of places, identities, and cultures – they allow us to feel proud of our roots and bring us closer together. Get crafty as we as we cut, paste, and paint our own flags to embody our imagined future worlds, homes, or places of our dreams. Open to children and families of all ages – all materials provided.
Nathalie Abi-Ezzi (Author), Jess Amarel (Assistant Cultural Producer, LCF-Rosetta Arts) David Betteridge (Filmmaker), Lori Demata (Photographer), Jasmine-Karis Fontiverio-Hylton (Textile Designer), Cheski Granger (Project Coordinator, Making for Change, LCF), Jasbinder Jhumat, (Specialist Technician, LCF), Margaux Lalanne (Head designer, Studio Orta), Susan Leen (Visual Artist, Studio Orta), Victoria Maira (Designer, Studio Orta), Lucy Orta (Artist and Researcher, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, LCF), Camilla Palestra (Associate Curator, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, LCF), Jo Reynolds (Projects Manager, Making for Change, LCF), Caroline Stevenson (Programme Director of Fashion Studies and Cultural and Historical Studies, LCF), Yen-Yen Teh (Director, Emulsion Architecture).
The Nunnery Gallery and Cafe have step-free access throughout from street level, including to the accessible toilet, and is service animal friendly. This venue does not have a hearing loop system.
Accessible parking is not available on-site but blue badge parking can be found 500m away on Fairfield Road.
If you have any questions regarding accessibility at this venue or event, would like to make us aware of any access requirements that you have in advance of visiting, or would like this information in an alternate format including Easy Read, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8980 7774 (Ext. 3)
Access requirements could include things like providing equipment, services or support (e.g. information in Easy Read, speech to text software, additional 1:1 support), adjusting workshop timings (e.g. more break times), adjustments to the event space (e.g. making sure you have a table near the entrance) or anything else you can think of!
Opening hours: Tues-Sun, 10am to 4pm Address: Nunnery Gallery, 181 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ Nearest station(s): Bow Road (District and Hammersmith and City lines) is a 6-minute walk away, and Bow Church (DLR) is a 3-minute walk away. Bus: 205, 25, 425, A8, D8, 108, 276, 488 and 8 all service the surrounding area. Bike: Bicycle parking is located at Bow Church Station. The nearest Santander Cycles docking station is at Bow Church Station.