Aberfeldy Stories: Colours of Home. A public art installation for Aberfeldy

Colours of Home is a multi-venue public art installation for Aberfeldy, co-created by the local community in Poplar and textiles artist Lola Lely. Opening in London Craft Week 2023, the work will enliven Aberfeldy from May to July.

A series of banners, made of hemp cloth screen-printed with natural dyes, this project is pioneering in its embrace of techniques that seek to minimise environmental impact. The work was created using a colour palette of natural dyes developed in free community workshops held in Aberfeldy last year. Lely has worked with a range of collaborators, producing the banners through low-waste, hyper-localised processes. The results are both beautiful and inspiring, with motifs inspired by natural and architectural features of the local area.

The thoughtful design and the experimental processes involved not only demonstrate Lely’s achievements as a maker whose work focuses on interconnection between the natural world and material culture, but also provides an opportunity to reflect on the inherent sustainability of large-scale public art installations, providing a model of how these could be achieved differently in the future.

Follow the Colours of Home Materials Trail to see the installation at East India Green, through Aberfeldy Street to Works Cafe at Poplar Works (9.00am-4.00pm)

Lola Lely (Wax Atelier) 

Lola Lely is an artist, designer and maker who lives and works in Poplar. She practises craft in fresh and unexpected ways by linking contemporary practices and technology with age-old techniques. Storytelling, heritage and a respect for craft are important elements of her work. Lely holds a Masters in Design Products from the Royal College of Art. Her work has been exhibited internationally including at the V&A, Royal Academy of Arts and Design Museum London. Wax Atelier was founded in 2017 by Lely and Yesenia Thibault-Picazo, in their practice they re-visit traditional techniques ranging from candle dipping, paper making, to crafted textiles using natural wax. This approach allows making to becomes a tool to experience the interconnection between the natural world and material culture.

Localised production takes many hands:

Natural Colour Palette and Tassel Creation by A Fernandez, Agata V, Aleksandra, Andrej, Asma B, Beverly E, Elaine T,  Eleni, Eva W, Fay, Laetitia, Lekeshia J, Lyson M, Margot P, Matt S, Matta S, Mea, Nat H, Nur, Omar V, Paula M, Rachel, Raimonda, Rena & Zuza

Natural Colour Palette Creation Workshops by Aliza Ruzavina & Hayley Caine

Banner Fabrication by Ceres & Wax Atelier

Banner Installation by Lamppost Banners Ltd & Fabulous Rigging

Concept and Curation by Company, Place

The artwork has been commissioned by EcoWorld London and housing association Poplar HARCA, it is part of a wider community-led programme co-created with local people to celebrate Aberfeldy’s rich community history and knowledge, alongside the area’s evolution as a hub for innovators and social enterprises.