Faig Ahmed, a visual artist from Baku, Azerbaijan, reworks the aesthetic of carpets, an “indestructible symbol of the Eastern tradition”, by weaving digital patterns onto the already conventional recurring patterns of the traditional Azerbaijani rug.
“Tradition is the main factor creating the society as a self regulated system. Changes in the non-written rule happen under influence of global modern culture.”
Ahmed’s interest in extending this traditional practice to one that alludes to today’s relevant digital imagery is his way of creating new boundaries. By mixing and matching two different aesthetics, Ahmed creates a rekindling of tradition and progress.
In order to create the illusions of glitchy carpet bits, Ahmed superimposes digital patterns onto traditional weaving compositions, these combinations either create rugs with bold optical illusions and/or generate transformations that leave carpets looking like unconventional sculptures.
“To be honest, things I do are not always right and beautiful. I do things without thinking- it’s my instantaneous expression. Changes in the world are instantaneous as well, and that is what I am channeling-ideas that have been formed for ages are being changed in moments- that is what I hope to do with me work. I just make bold experiments, putting them into the art scene, trusting myself and the viewers of my art.”
Argentinian artist, Alexandra Kehayoglou creates rugs that look like pastures and meadows. The grassland carpet seeks to mimic the appearance of naturally occurring, but fast disappearing Argentinian landscapes.
Kehayoglou grew up around textile artists, her family followed a textile tradition that was developed thousands of years ago in Asia Minor. After graduating with a degree in visual arts, Kehayoglou returned to her roots making carpets as her ancestors did, but with a twist. As varied as the grasslands and natural scenery of South America, the carpets are beautiful representations of natural and cultural heritage.
Carpet weaving is innate knowledge for me. It makes me feel connected to another time. It is a way of building meanings throughout my life and that of my ancestors.
Her creations carry a strong message of sustainability; these carpets are made from wool often found in mounds of leftover fabrics behind factories. (Via DD.AA.)
With a serious understanding of classic carpet-making techniques, Azerbaijani sculptor Faig Ahmed is able to stretch, distort and reinvent an iconic symbol steeped in tradition and cultural significance. “The carpet is a symbol of invincible tradition of the East, it’s a visualization of an undestroyable icon,” Ahmed states, noting that the manipulation of the woven medium gives visual form to ideas he has relating to “destroying the stereotypes of tradition to create new modern boundaries.” The rug, as a medium, works well for Ahmed, helping to deploy a deeper message about the stretching, bending and restructuring of physical and political boundaries in the Middle East. His technical mastery is evident in the movements of each thread, and his generous use of color gives the work an overall vibrancy—perhaps hinting at the artist’s sense of optimism in a time of great uncertainty and turmoil.