Soulstargypsy’s signature tie-dye was inspired by a kite surfing trip in Sri Lanka a few years ago, after seeing a local fisherman wearing a sarong using the same beautiful technique of tie-dye. I hunted down some of the same fabric in the local village and started experimenting. I now use this tie-dye method on silk, cashmere, velvet and cotton. My cashmere silk shawls are woven in Srinagar, Kashmir. They reach Mumbai raw and un-dyed. They are then individually tie-dyed. No shawl or garment is ever the same, as each has a variation of colour and tone. Art has many forms and this is a wonderful demonstration of wearing something so unique that no piece is ever the same and no colour is ever identical.
I love working with tired or outdated furniture and bringing it to life. I started painting furniture over twenty years ago after I signed myself up for a painting and gilding course in England. I took a train from London to Oxford to spend time with a lovely artist called Annie Sloane. She had invented some wonderful thick chalk paint now commonly used and readily available. But in the early 2000’s she was the pioneer of the ‘upcycling and the shabby chic movement’. I learned a lot by watching her and practicing. I started to explore mixing the chalk paint with other mediums. This piece in a recent project grew from a simple wooden chest to a vivid universal dream of botanical magic. It is layered and textured and a world away from its original state. I love giving something old a new lease of life. It takes time, patience and sometimes several weeks to complete.