Migration Museum

Hommage to Althea


Hand painted, Japanese woodblock and Dutch gold embossed paper collage on French sewing patterns – A Homage to Althea McNish 

L: 55 x W: 37.5 cms (each artwork panel dimension)

The Migration Museum commissioned Narielwalla to make a suite of works for their exhibition Taking Care of Business. The mixed media collage panel work is a homage to the prolific textile designer and artist Althea McNish.

In the words of the artist, “When I was first introduced to the work of Althea McNish, I was struck by the vibrancy of her colours. Like Althea, I am not afraid of colour. I immediately felt a very strong connection to her.

“Althea had an art history background. She was clearly making textile prints from the perspective of an artist. Her work is influenced by impressionism and there are suggestions of water, flowers and the sky in her textiles. All these things inspired me in making this work. I created hand-painted papers inspired by Althea’s bold brush strokes. They are made in three panels to capture the breadth of her practice. The patterns I have used to create the work are from the 1960s – a direct reference to the time when she was at her peak as a textile artist. The gold-embossed Dutch paper and the Japanese sunflower paper are a nod to her use of florals.

“Althea used her Trinidadian identity in her work but also understood British sensibilities to produce textiles that the public wanted to buy. I’ve had a similar journey coming from India to Britain and creating work that has a British sensibility but is also true to my aesthetic.”

For more about the show visit https://www.migrationmuseum.org/exhibition/takingcareofbusiness/