CARPET PAGES PROJECTS
CARPET PAGES IV: FLYING CARPET
CARPET PAGES IV: FLYING CARPET
Online in Autumn 2021
+ Instagram Live Private View
The next iteration of Carpet Pages is something rather different: since we’re all still in the throes of a pandemic and life is unlikely to return to normal anytime soon, I will make a carpet fly around the world… we will make a collaborative miniature painting with a bunch of artists in the style of the old workshops.
Miniature paintings of the past were also a group effort made by an entire studio and I want to replicate that remotely for our times. Painting by post! I’ll start in London and - in the manner of the exquisite corpse - not quite knowing what is coming next, pass the painting onto the next artist who can then do whatever they like. 2 continents, 6 artists and faith in the entire world. It differs from ancient miniatures - and mirrors our own modern, uncertain times - by pointedly not being planned in advance. One might do a colour fill. One might realise a whole figurative element. One might underdraw an object and leave it up to the next artist to fill it in - or not. One might instead go off on another tangent. One might decide to rule some borders. One might decide to paint items that escape those borders. One might add gold… who knows?
The chain of artists have the posting instructions and I’m leaving the actual artwork entirely up to the discretion of the artist. This is a study in the collaborative workshop culture of traditional manuscript production studios adapted for a global pandemic. It’s an expression of trust as well as faith in the global postal workforce and an exercise in loosening control, although there are some rules, of course: the paint must be watercolours or gouache only (so that the paper won’t get saturated with media); the painting must be kept flat, 2D (no collaged elements, so that it can be posted and all materials harmonise); the artists’ signatures and names and dates are on the back of the paper (as a record); the painting will be posted securely via tracked and recorded delivery/signed for.
We’ll document the journey online via our own channels. Perhaps it’ll be fun to video each ‘unpacking’ of the painting and upload it so people can follow along eg. on Instagram. The final finished painting flown back to London after encircling the globe will be looked after by Carpet Pages until it is sold, when the proceeds are then split evenly between the gallery, all participating artists and the charity Médecins Sans Frontières - Doctors Without Borders, aligned with the spirit of flying carpets and a global healing process through art. Prints can be made of the final artwork and again all proceeds split as above.
We’ll make a good painting! Who knows what it’ll evolve into… who knows what’ll come after the pandemic… I’m ready to be surprised. Are you?
Follow along with the artists on social media and Instagram:
The Carpet Pages cycle is a series of shows presented by artist and curator Vaishali Prazmari. The dazzling title pages of both Islamic and Medieval European manuscript books were called Carpet Pages in reference to their intricate rug-like patterns. These exquisitely detailed and highly ornamented and illuminated surfaces were covered in arabesques and geometric patterns and often included the use of gold and jewel-like, precious pigments. As book pages are sequential, so future shows will build on this 4th chapter. The curator's love of carpets also reflects the wider goal of this show sequence which is to bring together diverse artists with similar interests into a whole; to unite disparate elements into a unified pattern, which is one of the goals of rug-making itself. Carpets are visual feasts for the eye and this 4th iteration in the Carpet Pages cycle promises the same.