Jun 15, 2014

Nature and Culture at Vestry House

Two amazing exhibitions have been running at Vestry House during the trail: Vincent Daniels's beautiful botanical portraits and The Muslim Front Room.

Vincent is a volunteer gardener at Vestry House, and an expert in traditional colourants. His watercolours look like something out of the most exquisite old botanical encyclopaedia (something like the Hortus Eystettensis).

Having taught at the Royal College of Art for many years, as well as being an Emeritus Researcher at the British Museum, the combination of scholarship and technical excellence are plainly evident. It's lovely too to be able to walk around Vestry House's beautiful gardens, and then go inside and see what they inspired!

The main room at Vestry House has been transformed into The Muslim Front Room: an exhibition of Muslim home decor which looks at the significance - as well as the beauty and workmanship - of Islamic and cultural artefacts in the home. It tells many stories - of migration and generational transition, of changing tastes and rediscovery of heritage, of nostalgia and identity. But it's also a chance to look at many lovely and interesting things, and some beautiful contemporary artworks.

Tthe exhibition's organisers, Everyday Muslim, are curating a show about Muslim life in Britain at Vestry House next year, and will be hosting 'What is Muslim heritage?' on 16 August. Bring along the item in your house that best says 'Everyday Muslim'.

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