Sunday, 17 May 2009

Day 1 - meeting Carla

Another sunny and hot day. Walked from hotel to Piata Unirii to catch a tram to meet designer Carla Szabo. Here's some stencil graffiti I spotted on my way.

Walked around the massive square, flanked on one side by an enormous shopping complex. Eventually found the 32 tram. Missed stop and ended up at almost the opposite end of the road. Carla very very kindly offered to collect me, otherwise I may have been walking up and down the road forever. Little sense of direction!

Carla, is a designer currently making her own jewellery pieces, but has a background in graphic, interior and advertising design. She was selected in 2007 for the British Council's International Design Entrepreneur which is how I got to hear about her, and she is also looking to develop international collaborations.

Carla and her partner Alec gave me an amazing welcome, with a great lunch of bean soup, bread, hummus and cheese. I found them both incredibly warm, friendly,interesting, funny, open and generous people. They made me feel instantly relaxed and at home. It was a perfect start to my first meeting of the trip. It meant a huge amount that Carla had been so generous to spare the time to meet with me. We sat and chatted about each other's work and the sampler project. It was really interesting listening to Carla talk about her aspirations and some of the difficulties she faced trying to make it as a designer in Romania. I really loved Carla's work, interesting concepts and use of materials, and particularly her sense of humour and irony. I had such a great time chatting that I forgot to take any photos. I'll do a proper post on Carla's work but here's a link to her website in the meantime.

Carla has a fantastic studio space and shop within an amazing building, near a flower market, which has recently been renovated as a cultural and creative centre. There was a photography competition taking place and a drum workshop for street kids downstairs, and an international food market, so the place was buzzing with activity.There was a really positive energy about the place. As I sat there and walked around, I kept thinking what a great space it could be for the sampler workshop and event.

Carla very kindly arranged for me to meet with musician, producer and dj Christian Stefanescu aka electric brother

Again we had a great chat about the sampler project and musicians and artists who have made links between contemporary and traditional romanian music such as the Shukar Collective and the electronic sound and visual festival Rokolectiv

The main reason behind my trip is to meet people, listen, learn and reflect and to explore what the connection is between music and textiles in Romania, and to see whether people are interested in collaborating and if so in what way. In a way that makes sense to them. What is it that they are interested in exploring and developing, are there commonalities, or are there shared problems and can we explore these further through collaborating.

I had a great day and left reflecting and feeling inspired. Thank you Carla, Alec and Christian for such a warm welcome.

No comments: