Last weekend I attended the first SE25 Jewellery Makers Showcase at the Elizabeth James Gallery in South Norwood. On display were the works of the gallery’s owner Ms James and my fellow Trini expat pal Thalia-Mae Nero (TM Boutique) both ladies are South Norwood based. In keeping with true island spirit, the willingness to help those in need, Ms James and Thalia-Mae hosted the event in aid of Hurricane Maria Relief in Dominica. The category 5 storm hit the island on 18th September 2017and by the time it left, 95% of buildings damaged or destroyed. Dominica was not built in a day, so even though we may no longer hear about the misfortunes of the islanders in the news, there is work to be done. SE25 Jewellery Makers Showcase pledged 20%+vat sale proceeds would be donated to the Dominica Hurricane Maria Relief Fund.

Elizabeth James Gallery

I arrived to the showcase before patrons so I could meet with Ms James. You may remember The Tiger Tales interviews TM Boutique last year but I’d never meet Ms James.  I also wanted to see the gallery space and the works freely. Ms James was born in Croydon and her brand was established in 2013.  After winning a competition by Croydon Council as part of the plan to regenerate the area, Ms James opened the doors to her gallery in December 2016.  It has garnered many accolated most recently, the Best Culture Spot in South Norwood, winner of TimeOut Love London Award 2018.

Ms James

Ms James London

Ms James up-cycles off-cuts of leather to create her jewellery. She tells me has always been inspired by natural form in nature. In her photography she has experimented with everything from drops of water to smoke swirls from incense to mixing dye in water to observe the shapes.

Ms James’ jewellery reminded me of home and island life. She used vibrant colours and floral shaped bracelets. While her earrings dangle and flow like mini waterfalls.

TM Boutique

Thalia-Mae began her brand in 2015. Like Ms London, she’s inspired by her Caribbean heritage. TM Boutique started with totes and clutch bags. Then, Thalia-Mae moved into button accessories. The fabrics she uses range from Ankara prints, cork material to lace overlays.

TM Boutique jewellery

Dominica Hurricane Maria Relief Fund

Although I left before the crowds, I stayed tuned in via the gram. They event was well attended. Ms James London and TM Boutique raised a total £120. Artwork by Elizabeth James® was also purchased at the event. Ms James is also donating 20%+vat of the sales to the fund. She will be making that at contribution on an ongoing basis for all future sales of her artwork at the gallery. There are plans to host other showcases with other local artists.

You can find the Elizabeth James Gallery on Instagram, follow to stay in the loop.


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