Turmalin, Moscow

A spectacular felting of the Russian landscape

This beautiful felting picture was produced by the textile workshop group in the Turmalin Day Centre situated on Ulitsa Borisa Galushkina in Moscow. Turmalin is a member community of the Northern Region of Camphill worldwide. With a constant struggle to generate funding and with little state support, the centre provides invaluable training and work opportunities for over 40 young adults with learning disabilities who come from all over the city and who otherwise would have little or no meaningful activity, stimulation or training possibilites in their lives.

Although it was not conscious or intentional, the bare tree on the right with the black birds flocking around it is strongly reminiscent of one of Russia's most famous and best-loved images, the painting "The Rooks Have Returned" by Alexei Savrasov, in the Tretyakovskaya Gallery, a potent symbol of the return of spring after the long cruel winter.