It won't be long now before we have all the dates confirmed for the workshops next year. We want to get things absolutely perfect before we invite you to join Les Soeurs Anglaises for some inspiration, learning and fun; but whilst you wait, here is work from terrific artists/stitchers that we love. We hope that one or two will make you smile, some make you laugh out loud whilst others...... you might not be quite sure about . Enjoy!
We're always looking for new and interesting ways to use l'Espace, our great studio space and accommodation and last week it was our great privilege to host a group of 14 inner city young people, aged between 14-20, and regular members of an amazing London based charity called The Islington Community Theatre, established by a truly incredible young man, Ned Glasier, in October 2008 as an after school club.
Their 8-day stay with us allowed the company of youngsters, led by six staff members, to explore new ideas for plays and projects and to work on a new play whilst cooking together, playing games in the evening, building playwriting skills, practicing early morning yoga and cooling down in the swimming pools. We can truthfully say they were a pleasure to have around, absolutely no demands or tantrums, homesickness or whinges; and we even managed to join in the fun from time to time
To give you an idea of what went on, here is a page from Ned's diary:
TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2012 AT 10:21AM
Sometimes you become so absorbed in a place and a time that you start to forget that the rest of the world exists. That's a pretty good way to sum up our first few days here at L'Espace, the barn which has been our home since last Friday.
It has been the most magical time so far - a wonderful, kind, committed group of young people; real progress on a new play that we're researching and developing; a location so beautiful and special that every now and again you stop and just stare, surprised again that you're actually here.
The days start with breakfast - bread and jam, cereal, fruit, coffee and tea. Ella Macfadyen, who was here for the first three days, taught us a simple yoga routine and every morning Sophie Thomas, one of our young people, leads us through it in silence on the terrace overlooking the fields. For the first three days we worked on the new play, provisionally called The Centre, all day - broken only by trips to the pool, games of table tennis and lunch. And in the evening there are ridiculous games, activities and fun.
I have never spent so much time with a group of young people, have never been able to get to know them so well and understand what drives them and makes them think, laugh or cry. Not that we had any tears at all - and not a fight or even a cross word spoken by anyone.
The name of the converted barn that we stayed and worked in is L'Espace and space is exactly what it gave us - space to work and think and get to know each other in a very special and life-changing way. That space will have a huge impact on our work in the months and years ahead.
Summer has definitely arrived (enfin!), and what an amazing time we have had here at Les Soeurs - and a few more to look forward to before we unwind.
Oolie's edible scraps
We're always delighted to try new ideas and this year we sashayed into August with four beautiful (literally and spiritually) ex-workshop ladies who decided to return for some quiet un-tutored time together ... All four met here for the first time at various previous workshops and the plan was to bring together a larger group. In fact, things didn't pan out quite that way, but having a smaller group for a trial run showed us that l'Espace is, indeed, the perfect venue for a self-catering, creative group who want an opportunity to bring and share and make together.
Jone & Becky discuss, inspire, demonstrate and encourage
A Room with a View
Diane's famous donkeys
With the prospect of having l'Espace all to themselves, Oolie, Becky, Diane and Jone flew in from the US, Sweden and Manchester for a week long sabbatical. The weather was changeable but they managed to keep the huge panoramic door open most of the time, with it's superb view especially towards sunset. Here are just one or two examples of the simply fab things that the ladies created. Believe me, this was just the tip of the iceberg......
In case you missed a newsletter (or two), we thought we'd remind you how excited we are to be hosting our first "gig" at Les Soeurs Anglaises on Saturday evening, 15th September.
Most of the concert seats have been sold, but we have one or two held back for for LSA's very ownmusic enthusiastswho fancy a whole weekend away from it all. We are offering three nights B&B, including a ticket per person to the concert, at crazy low prices. Share a double room, buy your airfare now and enjoy a musical adventure in the beautiful heart of south west France for little more than staying home and ordering a pizza.
Virtuoso violinist and fiddle player extraordinaire, Peter Knight, stalwart of British Folk-Rock pioneers Steeleye Span, will be bringing his trio, Gigspanner - with their unique chemistry and outstanding musicianship - to perform at our amazing converted venue, l'Espace. The trio has been hailed by Songlines Magazine as “another milestone in folk’s rebirth of cool moments”, but those in the know will tell you that there is far more to Gigspanner than simply folk music; their musical reach flirts audaciously with Eastern European, French, Cajun, African and even Aboriginal influences.
It is no surprise that author Sir Terry Pratchett wrote that “Peter Knight can spin the world on his Bow”. Now established as a powerful presence on the UK concert and festival scene, this is the first time that Gigspanner has toured outside of the UK, and Peter is excited about bringing his trio to the country that he now calls home. Peter is joined by Roger Flack on Guitar, and Vincent Salzfaas on Congas and Djembe, both intelligent and powerful musicians in their own right. Together they promise “a blistering pace of a flamboyant musical world tour” (Lancashire Evening Post). But, leave any pre-conceived ideas at the door, and ditch the pigeonholes. If you have a taste for “music of intelligently crafted brilliance”(Songlines magazine) there is something here to nurture your soul. We guarantee it will be a weekend to remember!
The few remaining tickets for the concert itself can be purchased from Eventbrite.