How about this! At last… the Project has its very own WEBSITE! The final driving determinant for this was what came from the recent five screenings of our documentary, WOMEN’S BUSINESS. There were so many spin-offs/new ideas/suggestions/necessary follow-throughs and email addresses as well as the dreaded constant question…’do you have a website?...that came as a result of these shows, I had to admit I could no longer keep up. Very hard for me to acknowledge this because I generally enjoy writing the emails of the Lao experiences we have shared in the past.

But to keep you engaged with the day-to-day doings of WOMEN’S BUSINESS it is not just necessary but now imperative…as there is so much happening… to have this website.

Perhaps the most important realization, for us, is that we we’ve discovered we have a tiger by the tail. Its exciting, but also somewhat frightening.

For example: We’ve found that these women who’ve joined the Textile Arts School for the first two semesters (September through December, 2018 and February through May, 2019) have created such beautiful pieces of embroidery and weaving and they are continuing to do so at such a pace, that we feel compelled to to try and find a long-term way of effectively following up on the success of the sales we made at the recent screenings of the Women’s Business documentary film. The film was shown in Kingscliff, Murwillumbah, Sydney, Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains and Brisbane. We’ve got one coming up in Canberra in June and possibly one in the NSW Southern Highlands around then. But we can’t keep on screening the documentary forever…or making more of them.

So the concept of a website, coupled with the possibility of an online store have been pre-occupying us for a while. The online store as an outlet for various garments and apparel, as well as decorative crafts, handbags and other handicraft that could make good use of the extremely attractive output from the talented weavers and embroiderers who are graduating from the school at a rate of 16 women a year.

The online store will take a good while to fall into shape…as will the process of getting the various different woven and embroidered art works into salable commodities, such as coats and other forms of clothing, bags and furnishings, such as cushion covers, for example. That’s what I meant about having a tiger by the tail!

So here we are at the beginning of something else…something new. And while the online store is still some way in the future, the great thing is that you will now be able to say to people who ask you, ‘Is there a website?’

‘Yes…there sure is… and it tells all about the Project’s past, present and future...simply by doing as you've just done, dinging up

But please do still email us at ….or add your comments in the space at the end of this blog.

But before we go…some more good news about Laos:

Tcheu Siong’s incredible embroidery has been acquired by QAGOMA for their permanent collection.

You may recall Tcheu Siong’s giant-sized (literally) piece of splendid embroidery was one of the three Lao pieces of art exhibited at APT9 (The Asia-Pacific Triennial Art Exhibition ) at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane recently…the first occasion on which any Lao work has been chosen.

Tcheu Siong is a Hmong woman, from the northern mountains of Laos, now based in Luang Prabang. Her husband is a shaman and her work translates onto cloth the visions he experiences. Hence its great expression of energetic spiritual strength.

We are so happy both she…and her husband…have received this recognition from a Gallery of international standing.

It is also…like I have been wittering on about for years now!…another sign of Laos coming back on to the world stage. I realise this is a mixed blessing, but after what it has been subjected to, a place, no matter how small, in the sun, is a happy turn of events.

Added to which is the fact that Tcheu Siong is Hmong…and…wait for it! The same age as me! 77!! Yeh! GO…the old folks!

More news next month.

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