CARPET PAGES II: ROOTS
7.10.19 - 19.10.19 | Private View Opening Night 10.10.19 6-9pm
The Art Pavilion Mile End, Clinton Road, Bow, London E3 4QY | Gallery open 11-6 daily during exhibition
34 artists 16 countries
UK | Iran | Pakistan | Saudi Arabia | Morocco | Hong Kong | France | Syria | Sweden | Japan | Kazakhstan | Russia | Brazil | China | Portugal | New Zealand
Carpet Pages II: Roots is the second in a series of group 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 second 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 second iteration in the Carpet Pages cycle promises the same. The talented artists in this exhibition are all adepts in their chosen medium and their exciting work ranges from paintings to textiles, geometry to figuration, giant sculptural pieces to tiny miniatures and traditional to contemporary art.
This exhibition focuses on the motif of roots, which contains a multiplicity of ideas – the physical structure of plant roots; the natural pigments and dyes made from roots used in carpet weaving; the metaphorical nature of ancestral roots; roots that link to a homeland; feeling rooted in the earth or in a place, space or time. They can be etymological. They can be a process. Roots can be the basic cause, origin or source of something; they can be its seed, germ or beginning; they can be its heart, foundation or essence. They can be hierarchical or rhizomatic. In a Deleuzian rhizome-like pattern, the centre is everywhere. The connections between branching root structures can be thought of as nodes, which leads to non-binary, multidimensional thinking; this interconnectedness has no privileged viewpoint and invites multiple perspectives and interpretations which in turn is reflected in the spontaneous and surprising connections between the various pieces in the show.
Farkhondeh Ahmadzadeh presents a marriage certificate with space for witnesses’ signatures as was the custom in old Persia.
Veeda Ahmed is an artist trained in both Eastern and Western painting techniques and the use of traditional materials. Depending on what she is reading, she paints accordingly, applying colour and washing it off and reapplying and washing off till she captures the energy of a form that she is happy with.
Esra Alhamal’s work highlights the political and social issues of the Middle East, illuminating social issues within the Saudi community.
Balal Aquil examines his British Kashmiri cultural roots and identity through the motif of floral patterns of Kashmiri and Persian carpets.
Amaan Khalid Aslam’s work is inspired by antique ‘sampler carpets’ which contained design elements of various different patterns, scales, and colour schemes within one carpet. This piece portrays fragments of a geographical past: maps of countries the artist has lived in overlaid with their traditional patterns unite to illustrate a ‘sample’ of his cartographical roots.
Mahrukh Bashir’s piece is named Samawat, an Arabic term meaning celestial heavens. It is said that there are seven sevens in the Islamic tradition. Seven fold geometry is the basis for this design.
Isra Butt uses natural dyes to portray her heritage, engaging traditional embroidery techniques to illustrate her grandparents’ migration across borders and cultures and to intertwine with the traditional textiles and motifs which have inspired her work.
Fatima Azzahrae Chaabani's artworks adopt a cross cultural approach revealing a profound passion for the symbolism, power and diversity of the art of Quran manuscript illumination.
Kim Chan’s piece Outsides of the insides is testament to the fact that we are different, yet the same.
Clare Dudeney's work is about the fragmented nature of being, imagining the self as a network of relationships in flux, visualised through the interaction of colours and shapes.
Lucie Rose Galvani mainly uses paints hand made from traditional pigments and gilding on paper to express inspirations coming from Celtic and Western Medieval arts as well as symbolic geometry.
Red Gibbons-Lejeune’s piece In the Beginning is about origins. The traditional twelve-fold pattern, significant to each of the three Abrahamic faiths, is painted using three pigments of primary colour and incorporates the construction lines of the drawing process in the final design.
Yasmin Hayat explores themes of journeys and transitions, ventures and explorations into the abyss using a language developed from an old Arabic style of painting and inspired by Middle Eastern mythology.
Maria Högbacke explores the physical and mental, body and mind sensation in painting.
Shaheen Kasmani’s work is part of telling a story. It could be celebrating or exploring the overlooked or silenced, and the reclaiming of the narrative from those who have hijacked or imposed their own upon others.
Amber Khokhar’s two related pieces show how the word ‘handgrenade' has its roots in the word ‘pomegranate’; she poetically describes it thus: Faithful Love six seeds; The pomegranate binds to worlds below and above; Sweet and Fitting grenade in hand; Ripe then reap the bitter crop.
Jumpei Kinoshita mixes and applies colours on the surface of paintings while exploring and discovering the magnificent effect of the multiple overlays. Creating beautiful harmony among different shapes, marks and colours is the key to his work.
Olga Lobanova was inspired by trees her parents planted in her garden when she was little: pine, poplar, chestnut, silver birch, oak - as well as the gardens of paradise in Persian miniature painting.
Déa Lopes takes her inspiration from Kadiweus, a Brazilian indigenous tribe. For the artist the process is an inner journey of delicacy and respect and a way to walk inside of herself.
Juliette Losq's ink and watercolour drawings and installations explore how we interact with the natural world. Towards the fringes of any conurbation exists land that is in a state of flux. Her use of materials reflects her art historical background, drawing on the Gothic and Picturesque movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and interweaving their motifs and with her own descriptions of these ephemeral borderlands.
Natasha Mann’s work is inspired by traditional decorative Moroccan painting on wood known as zouaq painting. She works with natural pigments mixed with egg tempera and 24 carat gold leaf on wood.
Aline Marion’s work Doors to the Unconscious invites you to a journey into the depths of your own soul; guarded by the Serpent, once entered, one may find a full mystical world rooted into one's Self waiting to be explored.
Jeea Mirza is a UK-based British Pakistani artist who is inspired by the arts and crafts of both Islamic and Medieval traditions. Her work is a contemplation of the hidden meanings that lie under the surface of her designs. Each layer of line and structure is a veil which can be lifted to reveal hidden truths.
Jia Niu looked into the roots of the word ‘illuminate’, which literally means ‘lit up with lights’. Studying the geometric roots led to the design of these arabesque paintings.
Vaishali Prazmari’s Cloud Carpet references the portable nature of carpets and stories; suspended are movable ancestral roots and age-old yarns and - as a reminder to not only look down at the rug beneath your feet but also up at the stars - occasionally one may glimpse pockets of the universe seen fleetingly through the patterns of a magic carpet.
Rosie Piontek was inspired by carpet pages from the Book of Durrow (late 7th century) and the sense of connection to the roots of early Christianity she feels living in the once Pictish Orkney Islands. She wanted a playful depiction of the voyager monks who brought the Gospel to Scotland.
Shorsh Saleh's work We Never Said Goodbye is the monument to the genocide to the Kurdish people. The work is made from wood, chains and rust. The scars from rusted chains create an unknown language, symbolising the fact that the Kurdish situation is never acknowledged or understood by the wider world. Kurds inhabit a mountainous region straddling the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. They make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, but they have never obtained a permanent nation state.
Matt Siwerski machine sews at speed and most unorthodoxly, while embracing rudimentary principles of the medium. Capturing gesture and primitivism in stitching are qualities he values.
Laila Tara H’s works tell the Persian story of the sun God, Mithra, and the creation of the universe. As a child, in times of uncertainty, her grandfather would remind her that God (خدا) derives from Self (خد).
Sarah Tew explores various approaches to the terms and histories surrounding landscape painting. Through painting and drawing she straddles the figurative, the abstract and the site specific.
Erica Vaz uses the delicate nature of porcelain to allow an intricate Japanese pattern of mythical flowers to shine through.
Esmerelda Valencia Lindström's work is a flexible but unstable table based on the pose of the pond skater as it sits on the surface of water.
Adam Williamson is an artist working in sculpture and carving. He is interested in shapes and patterns that can tessellate into perfectly balanced structures.
Di Wu was inspired by an ethnic group living in Vietnam that perform blessing ceremonies under a ritual tree heavily decorated by woven baskets and ornaments. She has adopted old basketry techniques from various traditions and made shapes to hang onto the tree-shaped pillar, forming a new abstract version of the ritual tree.
The Art Pavilion Mile End is literally an earth-sheltered building, so its roof is covered with soil and grass: appropriate for my ‘roots’ motif for the show. It is flooded with light providing optimum viewing for the artworks and there is a beautiful vista of an island – home to nesting swans – from the gallery.