about ananuca

about añañuca...

lt is a rare and beautiful sight to behold the flowering of the Atacama desert in Northern Chile. Every few years, after rainfall, this apparently barren wilderness erupts into a riot of colour, of which the vibrant tones of the añañuca flower (species of rhodophiala) are perhaps the most spectacular.

This unique natural phenomenon is the inspiration behind añañuca, established in 2009 by Liz and David Beasley, to bring to the UK the very best of Chilean artisan design. Our ethos is simple – all of our products are handmade, and traded fairly, showing due respect for the skills of the artisan and their need to make a dignified livelihood. We support rural livelihoods – we endeavour to provide opportunities for skilled artisans to continue to practice their craft in their own homes, bringing in a much needed income whilst sharing their time between the many demands of life on a family smallholding.

We buy work only of the highest quality, crafted using traditional techniques. Colour is all, and many of our textile products are dyed using natural plant extracts, reproducing the rich colour palette of the landscape and the season in which they are created.

...about us...

Liz remembers that she first sat up and took notice about Chile whilst studying for her degree in Modern Languages at Oxford University, back in the 1980s. Her Spanish tutor, the renowned academic, Robert Pring-Mill, spoke passionately about Pablo Neruda, Chile's best known poet, and it inspired an interest which began Liz's long-standing fascination with the country. An MA in Latin American studies followed, which lead on to doctoral research, this time working with small scale organic farmers in the South of Chile. But little by little, family life, and a personal interest in textiles began to take over, and Liz admits to being “distracted” by “what the women were doing”. This, and a concern that academic research all too often fails to make a different to the lives of those being studied....and so finally the idea for añañuca was born...

David is a fine artist by training, and a keen photographer. With Liz he has travelled extensively throughout Latin America since the 1990s, but has always been drawn back to the landscapes and colours of Chile.

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