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"Imagination is the mother of originality." Henry Gordon Selfridge

In today's world, our retinas are bombarded with distractions, Gif after Gif with the cutest cat wearing a hat, or the funny baby video that has gone viral that we need to watch in between writing that report that has been sitting on your to-do list for far too long. It can seem we have no time to just let go and relax our minds. Many of us are hardwired to believe that getting through the work week is all that matters or are too busy or stressed to make time for creativity. The importance of visualisation for stress-relief, confidence and general well being has been well document and yet imagination is often deployed as the domain of child's play, or the frolicking of the lucky few in the creative industries. The truth is, imagination is vital to our modern existence, every single ground-breaking technology or revolutionary idea has originated in the mind's eye, this year the ever-innovative Selfridges department store has given Imagination a mainstream platform. 

In line with Selfridge's mantra the department store has kick-started the year the festival of imagination. The inspiring programme includes future-gazing talks about Bio Fashion (growing clothes and accessories) and how to make the most of your mind with Dan Hurley. Swetty Betty are hosting aerobic classes designed to help you unwind and open your mind, with a fusion of Thai-boxing, breathing, stretching and creative visualization.  

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The Indian city of Jaipur is encircled with pink walls and crisscrossed by a maze of tiny emporiums. These workshops house some the jewellery industry's most talented craftsmen, Jaipur is the historical home of the gemstone world. Many of the workshops are family run; and the traditions passed down are centuries old. These artisans cut and shape almost 90 per cent of the gemstones used in India's gem and jewellery trade. These celebrated gems are often shipped across the globe and are part of a highly valuable export industry estimated to be worth just over $21 million (Dh77m).

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Attending a members talk at the V&A about Mikimoto, I wanted to reveal the fascinating insights that were given by Mr Suzuki, a Sales Executive of the Mikimoto company.  He first explains how they culture the pearls to create their renowned pieces and later describes the life of Mikimoto himself…

Pearls once described as ‘teardrops of the moon’ for their beauty and iridescence were used for jewellery, medicine and believed to have ancient power.  In the past were used as a gift between countries, as a symbol of peace and prosperity.

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Across the Border

I have read somewhere that the birds of fairyland 
are white as snow.—W. B. Yeats

 

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