Wednesday, 3 March 2010

gup shup

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Gup Shup – From Textile to Tote

gallery II | 8 March – 23 April 2010

A collaboration between Cath Braid, Rolla Khadduri and women’s embroidery collectives in Chitral, Pakistan

Gallery II and the University of Bradford are pleased and very excited to present the work of this amazing creative enterprise project from the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan on its first UK outing.

OFFICIAL LAUNCH… 5 – 7pm, Monday 8 March 2010. International Women’s Day.

Everyone Welcome!! FREE

Chai & Chat with Cath Braid… 4 – 5pm, Monday 8 March *BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Seminar with Cath Braid… 3 – 5pm, Tuesday 9 March * BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Talks are FREE. To book your place, contact Rachel Kaye: 01274 235495 or email

“Gup Shup” is a landmark collaboration. Rather than seeking to preserve craft in its pure traditional form, this project introduces creative strategies to develop new images that seem true to the lives of their makers. But what seems most striking about his project is the sheer quality of the work itself, both in its craftsmanship and deft arrangement of ordinary elements.

This project seems quite transparent about the experience of the women it is meant to support. Apart for the creative challenges that they enjoyed, there seemed also benefits in the money and recognition that their work brings.

The Gup Shup project has been developed by Cath Braid, designer for social enterprise- Polly&Me and Rolla Khadduri- Development consultant.

‘Gup Shup’ (meaning chit chat in Urdu and Hindi) is a collaborative body of work from the female artisans of Chitral and Polly&Me. The exhibition comprises of large contemporary textiles depicting the artisans’ daily life and their translation into totes for women the world over to carry. For Rolla, this project is ‘an opportunity to give women the space to tell their own stories’. Rolla worked with Cath on running the workshops, probing the women about their stories, and recording their tales to appear at the back of each textile. The process begins with story-telling, dealing with everyday themes such as family life and through exploring the graphic world around them, particularly in packaging of products from the market. Their creative exercises also include making collages of photographs of their children. These then form the basis of the embroideries and their subsequent translation into funky designer bags. All work is available to buy and the profits go back to the women’s collectives.

Polly&me was developed by Cath Braid, an Australian and graduate of Central St Martins, who originally started work in northern Pakistan with Kirsten Ainsworth as part of the clothing label Caravana. Cath has been working in Chitral since 2003. Polly&Me works with a partner Mogh Ltd, the first publicly traded company in Chitral, set up by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme. Shareholders in MOGH Ltd are the Chitrali women who embroider, the Chitrali men who weave, local artisans and craftspeople, including those who work in the honey production, set up and supported by the Hashoo Foundation.

Chitral is in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan and lies nested within the mountain range of the Hindu Kush.

Gallery II

Open Mon – Fri, 11am – 5pm, Thurs ‘til 6pm

For further info tel: 01274 235495

Gallery II, Chesham Building, University of Bradford BD7 1DP

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