Lorraine Leeson worked as an art teacher with teenage Bengali girls from Bow, East London to create the piece ‘West Meets East’ in 1992, featured as a 16 x 12ft (4.8 x 3.6m) photo-mural. A numerous amount of the girls had only recently moved to London, some speaking no English and never studying art. Leeson discovered the girls all worked well with fabrics and embroidery, she asked them to express something about who they felt themselves to be in collage format, there outcomes are below:
Leeson saw the reoccurring theme of the experience between living in two very different cultures. The border is made up of the girls drawings, the four corners show the western way of life, with two of the largest western companies ‘Coca-cola’ and ‘McDonald’s’ featuring inside. The other spaces in the image are drawings of Bengali life.
The central image needed to be unified and symbolic unlike the divided and fragmented border. The Bengali girls decided that combing tow fabrics was symbolic of marriage of the cultures.