• The Camargue by Susanna Reay 2016 (textile collage)

    Expats by the nature of their postings, travel far more than anyone else. And with travel we all take photos and try to capture the memories we create in each new location. A challenge is how these captured memories can be more than just a file on your computer.

    My Lightroom photo library hosts thousands of photos that I have taken every year since we went digital in 2002. Cameras and qulaity have reall come along in the subsequent years, and I have enjoyed the ease of use and instantaneous pleasure capturing memries this way as well.

    But I still like to turn these memories into something for the wall, or the shelf, or the sofa. Textile design has always been a huge part of me - my first degree and first decade of work focused on this, but sadly with my expat life it was impossible to continue a career as a textile designer in the locations I found myself, so I moved into graphic design... and coaching expats too.

    I created the textile piece at the top of this blog from memory of my days living in the Camargue region of France. The light is amazing, the weather wonderful and the flamingoes just always brought a smile to my face. So when I sat down and challenged myself to create a textile collage, it was this scenery that came to mind.

    Needless to say I do have countless photos of the flamingoes and the region as a whole, but for this piece I decided to rely completely on my memory and see what would appear. And as a result I merged the 'etangs' where the famingoes live among the reeds with the backdrop of the hills behind - as Pic St.Loup was a distinctive landmark on the otherwise flat region. Below are some photos showing these elements that I took on days out exploring the region.

  • But if you are not into textiles.. there are many other options available to turn your memories into something unique and special to you. With the advent of digital printing, anything can be customised with a photo at a low cost. Here are some of my less labour intensive ways of capturing memories on something other than a hard drive:

    • Photo Books and Calandars for the next year.
    • Canvas or Aluminium Wall Prints
    • Jigsaw Puzzles printed with your photos.
    • Maps centred on your posting location, attached to a cork board to pin photos and other memorabilia to.
    • Printed Cushion Covers