Never talk to strangers. That’s what they tell you and drum into you from when you are tiny. I’m sure it’s very sensible advice but, as I think I may have mentioned in one of my posts, that’s exactly what I didn’t do last Saturday. Whilst hoping to bump into someone we were supposed to be meeting, and with only the knowledge that she was female, black and probably at least forty, we took to accosting anyone who fell anything near that description. Even when I was no longer physically with my virtual friends, I carried on in the forlorn hope that I would meet the elusive Xenobia. When I threw my question, “are you Xenobia?” at her, her reply was “no, but she’s a friend of mine”. So instead of locating my original target I got to know a lovely woman called Dindga (pronounced Ding-gher) McCannon. There she is at the top of this post.
Dindga is an artist from Harlem, New York, USA. From the age of ten she knew she was an artist and fifty years later she is still going strong. She used to be a painter but over the years she morphed into being a fiber artist and now her speciality is art quilts. Her work is available for sale in a range of places and of course she works to commission, often for groups who require a relevant piece of work to match their mission statement.
Our encounter happened at the knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, right in front of the booth of another textile artist called Hilary Hollingworth. At this stage we need to give our thanks to Hilary. She looked on patiently whilst we stood in the way of her table and chatted away like old friends. There was no tutting, no tsking, no making us feel uncomfortable just the wonderful acceptance that two people were becoming friends right in front of her eyes. Thank you Hilary for your understanding.
Dindga and I got on so well during our chat that when I discovered she was going to be in London for another week, on her own, I mooted the idea of spending the day together. So it was that a week after our chance encounter that we met up at 10 am at Wood Green tube station.
I had planned a lengthy itinerary, starting at The Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch. I have a habit of taking people here. The last time I was at the museum was in November 2005 when I dragged Susie B-W here. After the museum we wondered around Brick Lane, taking time to grab a quick bite of Samosas, Sag Ghosht, veggie curry, rice and nan before looking at the houses in Fournier and surrounding streets. We had hoped to end up at the Eid celebrations in Trafalgar Square but we arrived there just after five o’clock and everyone was packing up to go home. Just time for a last cup of coffee together in Covent Garden before we went our separate ways.