carpets

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Art

Life-Sized Wildlife Protrude from Ornate Rugs in Perspective-Bending Sculptures

March 29, 2021

Anna Marks

“Persian Kangaroo.” All images © Debbie Lawson, shared with permission

A new menagerie of polar bears, stags, and kangaroos resemble typical wildlife except for the fact that they’re literally swept under the carpet, their features hidden from view. These towering sculptural forms are by artist Debbie Lawson (previously), who crafts animals that are cloaked in sweeping Persian rugs. Rather than being camouflaged by a forest, jungle, or snow-covered Arctic, Lawson’s creatures boldly protrude from the fabric and loom over the viewer.

In her process, Lawson sculpts the animals from a combination of chicken wire and masking tape. She then layers luscious carpets across them, creating the illusion that these animals are about to jump, walk, and prance out of the fabric. This method is derived from what Lawson describes as her ability to spot hidden images in floors, textured walls, and various patterns, an interest that’s mirrored in her perspective-altering sculptures that appear to leap out from the gallery’s walls.

Peek inside Lawson’s studio and find a larger selection of her carpeted creatures on her site and Instagram.

 

Lawson with “Polar Bear” in-progress

“Bear Cartouche”

Detail of “Persian Kangaroo”

Detail of “Polar Bear” in-progress

Left: “Blue Stag.” Right: “Red Boar”

“Bear Cartouche”

Detail of “Red Boar”

 

 



Art Craft Design

Lush Tufted Tapestries Document Ecological Changes in Argentina's Landscapes

March 25, 2021

Anna Marks

All images © Alexandra Kehayoglou, shared with permission

Artist Alexandra Kehayoglou (previously) creates exquisite pieces of flowing textiles that reference the rugged landscapes of her homeland, Argentina. In the creation of each tapestry, Kehayoglou transforms surplus carpet fabric into natural elements that range from a spectrum of Earth-colored mosses to clusters of trees and serpentine rivers that cut through the heart of her weaves. Entwined within each piece are fragments of the artist’s own memories, including witnessing waterways slowly recede and the alterations to Argentina’s grasslands.

Her latest works, a series called Prayer Rugs, depict animal footprints and small vegetative features of the Parana Wetlands located 50 kilometers from Buenos Aires. In recent years, the region’s biodiversity has been decimated by the wood and paper industries, which have facilitated the growth of non-native plant species that have since spread out of control. Additionally, human-made fires wreaked havoc during 2020, while livestock simultaneously trampled the once-luscious grassland.

Kehayoglou’s pieces document the foliage that has survived after years of this widespread exploitation and how, over time, local fauna has started to reappear: thistles grow through cracks in the dry Earth, deer leave mud-splattered tracks, and chirping insects dance upon youthful leaves. The artworks narrate the wetland’s change and growth, reflecting the pain caused by capitalism while turning the need for change into tapestries that reference Argentinians’ hope. Kehayoglou says:

Isolation made me think of my carpets as spaces where new forms of activism could be enacted. A type of activism that instead of focusing on paranoid conflict was silent, absorptive and, as I believe, more effective. My carpets, thus, became instruments for documenting ‘minor’ aspects of the land, which were otherwise overlooked as irrelevant. A focus on its micro-narratives that would open new doors for possible ecological futures.

You can see more of the artist’s rich tapestries on her website and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Design

Hand-Tufted Rugs Celebrate the Natural Beauty of Lichen and Mold

October 23, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Dutch artist Lizan Freijsen explores our relationship to fungi, stains, mold, and moisture through modes of interior design. Freijsen creates rugs (as well as wallpapers and blankets) that mimic the unique patterns of natural formations in states of growth and decay. Each carpet has its own shape and color palette, and is comprised of concentric rings—some with eccentrically squiggling edges and others with more simple circles.

To produce these often large-scale textiles, Freijsen partners with Hester Onijs and Karen Zeedijk at the Textile Museum in Tilburg, NL. In addition to her own art practice, Freijsen has been teaching at the Willem De Kooning Academy in Rotterdam since 2000. You can see more of her work and peruse rugs that are available for purchase on her website.

 

 



Art Craft Design

Native Argentine Landscapes Explored in New Hand-Tufted Rugs by Alexandra Kehayoglou

September 20, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Santa Cruz River" (2016-2017), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool, 980 x 420 cm, Presented at National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Triennial | Melbourne, Australia 2018. Commissioned and acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

“Santa Cruz River” (2016-2017), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool, 980 x 420 cm, Courtesy of The National Gallery of Victoria.

Textile artist Alexandra Kehayoglou (previously) creates functional works of art that explore the natural landscapes of her native Argentina. Her selected locations are often ones tied to political controversy, such as the Santa Cruz River, or areas dramatically altered by human activity, such as the Raggio creek. Kehayoglou uses her craft as a chance as a call for environmental awareness, embedding her own memory and research of the disappearing waterways and grasslands into her hand-tufted works.

Each tapestry uses surplus materials from her family’s factory, which has manufactured industrial carpets for more than six decades. The one-of-a-kind carpets are often installed against the wall, with a section of the work trailing along the floor so visitors can walk or lay on the woven rugs.

In December 2017, her piece Santa Cruz River was included in the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial in Melbourne. The installation showcased her research behind the future damming of the river and her own interpretation of the harm that will continue to influence the surrounding area. Later this month Kehayoglou will present a new site-specific tapestry that explores the tribes of Patagonia in the group exhibition Dream at the Chiostro del Bramante in Rome. You can see more of her work on her website and Instagram.

"Santa Cruz River" detail (2016-2017), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool, 980 x 420 cm

“Santa Cruz River” detail (2016-2017), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool, 980 x 420 cm

"Santa Cruz River" detail (2016-2017), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool, 980 x 420 cm

“Santa Cruz River” detail (2016-2017), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool, 980 x 420 cm

"Hope the voyage is a long one" (2016), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool

“Hope the voyage is a long one” (2016), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool

"Hope the voyage is a long one" (2016), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool

“Hope the voyage is a long one” (2016), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool

"No Longer Creek" (2016), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool, 820 x 460 cm, Presented at Design Miami/ Basel, 2016 | Basel, Switzerland. Commissioned by Artsy. Courtesy of Artsy & The National Gallery of Victoria.

“No Longer Creek” (2016), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool, 820 x 460 cm, Presented at Design Miami/ Basel, 2016 | Basel, Switzerland. Commissioned by Artsy. Courtesy of Artsy & The National Gallery of Victoria.

"Santa Cruz River II" (2017), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool, 205 x 150 cm

“Santa Cruz River II” (2017), Textile tapestry (handtuft system), wool, 205 x 150 cm

 

 



Art

Shuttlecocks, Pool Noodles, and Other Playful Materials Arranged into Three-Dimensional 'Textiles' by We Make Carpets

September 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Shuttlecock Carpet for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017), all images via We Make Carpets

Shuttlecock Carpet for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017), all images via We Make Carpets

Dutch art trio We Make Carpets (previously) formed their first temporary tapestry in 2009 from collected pine cones and needles, which they appropriated titled Forest Carpet. For almost a decade since, the collective has been working with ordinary materials to create visually seductive “carpets” arranged on the floor or presented vertically on the wall. Last year they were asked to create six new works and five interactive installations for a solo exhibition at the inaugural National Gallery of Victoria Triennial in Melbourne titled Hands On. Carpets were formed from child-friendly materials such as pool noodles and velcro, which invited visitors to create their own patterns from the provided objects.

“While making art we rely on a hands-on approach—working with the materials that you have in your hands—trying and failing until finally something beautiful emerges,” We Make Carpets said in a statement about the exhibition. “We believe the images in your head are more important than the things already known. It is fantasy that creates, not facts. We hope our arrangements of objects offer new perspectives on modern life.”

Hands On just concluded a second run on September 9 at the National Gallery Singapore. You can take a look inside the making of a recent site-specific installation for The Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University in Houston in the video below, and see a more extensive collection of their temporary carpets on their website and Instagram.

Shuttlecock Carpet (detail) for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Shuttlecock Carpet (detail) for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Shuttlecock Carpet for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Shuttlecock Carpet for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Pencil Carpet for Jerusalem Design Week (2017)

Pencil Carpet for Jerusalem Design Week (2017)

Pencil Carpet (detail) for Jerusalem Design Week (2017)

Pencil Carpet (detail) for Jerusalem Design Week (2017)

Tube Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Tube Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Tube Carpet made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Tube Carpet made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Tube Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Tube Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Peg Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Peg Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Peg Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Peg Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Velcro Carpet made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Velcro Carpet made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Velcro Carpet (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Velcro Carpet (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Paperclip Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Bend and Stretch at Diagonale, Montreal, Canada (2016)

Paperclip Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Bend and Stretch at Diagonale, Montreal, Canada (2016)

Paperclip Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Bend and Stretch at Diagonale, Montreal, Canada (2016)

Paperclip Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Bend and Stretch at Diagonale, Montreal, Canada (2016)

 

 



Art

Life-Size Animals Emerge from Persian Rugs in Perception-Defying Sculptures by Debbie Lawson

August 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

“Red Bear”

British sculptor Debbie Lawson works in the space between two and three dimensions, forming wild animals that emerge from old-fashioned rugs. The artist builds her animals from scratch, using chicken wire and masking tape, and then covers them with identical or near-identical Persian carpets to create the illusion that the creature is fused with the hanging rug.

Lawson explains to Colossal, “I have always ‘accidentally’ spotted images in patterns, on textured walls and floors made of wood or lino – any material really. It’s an obsession that I decided to explore in the studio, using first wood grain and then carpet to make work in which the pattern morphed into an actual image or form…More recently I have focussed on animal forms to explore the idea of camouflage, and of its opposite: display.”

Red Bear is on display until August 19 2018 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London as part of the 250th Summer Exhibition curated by Grayson Perry. Persian bear is permanently displayed (along with a moose in the same style) at London’s Town Hall Hotel. You can see more of Lawson’s finished works and take peeks into her studio process on Instagram. (via Hi-Fructose)

“Red Bear Head”

“White Stag”

“Red Bear Head” and “White Stag” (detail)

“Persian Bear”

 

 

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