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Treasure of Nepal is an exhibition of the fine crafts of Nepal to be shown at Lahti Art Museum in Finland from September 22, 2016 to January 31, 2017


Treasure hunt - back in Kathmandu

Gary Wornell

Freshly printed Lokta papers hang on a line to dry.

Freshly printed Lokta papers hang on a line to dry.

The last few months have been busy ones in Finland with editing videos, preparing art works based on the crafts and some printing for the show. I'm finally seeing some of these ideas in their physical form instead of just what I see on the computer. 

We have had several meetings at Lahti Art Museum with support personnel including technicians, events organisers and the museum shop. Tuija Vertainen has been a great help coordinating my efforts with the various departments and setting deadlines for each phase of the project.

Shopping spree

The exciting news is that we will be bringing some stunning examples of these works to the show and I will be using this time to meet with the crafts people and order the works to be shipped at the end of July. 

Aside from the photographic materials and objects coming from Nepal to support the show, the museum shop will have a wonderful array of handicrafts for sale from hand made pencils and papers, to stone carvings and jewellery. So many different crafts represented - it was a tough job to be selective!

Post earthquake problems

The country is still experiencing severe hardship after the earthquake of 2015, and with petrol shortages and material scarcity many crafts are experiencing setbacks to their already challenging circumstances. Little has been done by the government to implement reconstruction though there are signs that this will change in the coming months.  

The weather is blazing hot mid day - so its good to be up and about at 5am to work in the cool. I'm looking for a scooter or bicycle to rent while I'm here to make the travel a bit easier. Lets see what I come up with over the coming days. 


Treasure Trove

Gary Wornell

Yesterday I returned from a 2 month period of research and photography in Nepal collecting material for this show. The post-earthquake and post-constitution problems facing the country are huge, and just getting around and meeting people was a challenge. Petrol was only available through the black market, and shortages of LPG gas and materials have brought many workshops and factories to their knees. 

The Nepali people are resilient, compassionate, and patient - frustrated by their government's inability to solve problems - and still they adapt to a lower standard of living with resourcefulness and determination. I have nothing but admiration for them. I met and worked with wonderful craftsmen and women on a daily basis and have returned to Finland with a lot of new material.

Gold jewellery, beads and silk dress on a Gurung woman during the New Year celebration parade of Lhosar - Kathmandu, Nepal

In the coming weeks I will sift through the video, stills and notes gathered during the last 2 months. Thanks to Canon Finland for their loan of the 5DSr camera which enabled me to shoot very high resolution photos of exceptional quality. 

Gary Wornell - February 3, 2016, Finland