Category Archives: Creative Case Study

West Meets East – Research

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.


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West Meets East – VTS

West Meets East by Lorrain Leeson



I can see an Indian woman sewing a jean jacket]y and a traditionally style Indian garment together.

I can tell it is an Indian woman from the henna paintings on her hand, the nail colour and multiple brackets around her wrists. There is a sewing machine in the image which is how I can tell the materials are being combined together. I can see it is a jean jacket from the collar, sleeve and stitching on it. The bright red colour of the material beside it with embroided patterns on makes me believe it is a piece of Indian clothing.

Looking closer into the image, specially around the edge I can see a border of words ‘community, religion, music, celebration, friendship, english, bengali, fashion, dance, bilingual’ – These words suggest to me that this is a campaign at bringing two very different communities together, shown by the sewing of both garments together, the translated words beside them also strengthen this point.

After more persistent analysis I can see cropped logos of brands such as Cocacola and McDonald’s in each corner of the image. The middle images in each corner look to me as if the are drawn with Bangladesh in mind (animals , traditional way of life.) With this point in mind I think the four corners show Western life  with the Bengali way in the other spaces, this of course relating back to the title ‘West Meets East’. ‘McDonalds’ and ‘Cocacola’ being the largest known companies in the western hemisphere too.