The Spirit of Africa takes over at Florence Arts for charity

THE spirit of East Africa will be alive in Cumbria, this spring, as an exhibition of Tanzanian batiks, kangas and traditional dress are heading to Florence Arts Centre.

The exhibition, which opened Saturday May 14, is a collaboration between Florence Arts Centre and The Cumbrian-Rungwe Community Link (CRCL) charity.

CRCL is a charity that was established in 1987 with the aim of linking two rural communities with similar, yet different ways of life – one in England and one in Tanzania.

Batik is a traditional method of creating colourful textiles using wax and dye, a technique which has developed into its own artform with the use of different wax solutions, experimentation with colours and materials – cotton, paper, silk, leather.

The vibrant colours and exuberant stylistic flourishes can be seen in Tanzanian Kitenge (large sarong-type fabrics) and other traditional dress, examples of which will also be included in the exhibition.

Rebecca Crowther, chair of the CRCL, said: “As a charity we thoroughly enjoyed the chance to share some beautiful, genuine pieces of artwork from Tanzania and to share ideas with local artists.”

On Saturday May 21, there will be an informal social event from 6pm to 8.30pm where all are welcome to

During the evening they will be holding a CD Art sale, tombola including Tanzanian artefacts and a raffle – for one of the batiks on display.

All proceeds to go to the CRCL charity.