‘I grew up among women who sewed, women who made things, women who fixed and repaired everything. I learnt the two languages alongside each other: painting and sewing.’

– Rowena Dring, Amsterdam

Rowena Dring is British, and spent time in Berlin and France before settling here in Amsterdam. She is an artist who challenges traditional boundaries by incorporating the ‘women’s work’ of sewing and needlework with large-scale painting. She first started this type of art after her father died, and observes that ‘when you feel like your world has been shattered apart, actually working with collage, putting things back together with sewing and stitching is a way of reordering your world.’

We live in a world that, if not shattered apart, has been irrevocably changed. I talk to Rowena about how the resurgence of the traditional homemaking arts may be a natural response to that change, incorporating as they do the comfort of simple things like the whirr of the sewing machine or the smell of freshly baked bread. During lockdown, Rowena herself has recently put some of her same artistic techniques to work making wonderful, quirky face masks. She has also baked sourdough bread for many years. We discuss why we are drawn to these types of homemaking arts during a pandemic, and what they can do for us.

Rowena Elsewhere

Monica Perez Vega did an interview with Rowena on the very first episode of the Hiraeth Magazine Podcast, which you can find here: http://hiraethmagazine.com/hiraeth-magazine-podcast-ep-1-meet-the-team-part-i/

You can buy her unique, beeswaxed cotton canvas face masks (along with her paintings) in her webshop: https://www.rowenadring.com/shop

Or follow her on Instagram:

Photos courtesy of Rowena Dring.

This episode features music by Meydän under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Podcast produced by Sarah Bringhurst Familia on the canals of Amsterdam.