AN ART CARPET COLLABORATION BY ARTIST HORMAZD NARIELWALLA, ESSIE CARPETS and ACC ART
End of 2020, one of the world’s prominent carpet experts and dealers Essie Sakhai of Essie Carpets in association with art advisor Astrid-Caroline Cole of ACC ART release the first art carpet - The Creation, in their collaboration with British Indian artist Hormazd Narielwalla. Under the supervision of Essie Sakhai, the hand-knotted carpet was woven to a dimension of 170 x 134 cms with three shifts per day, whereby it was possible to shorten the time of completion from around 2 ½ years to over nine months.
The Creation signifies “the action or process of bringing something into existence” and depicts a geometric abstraction of one of Narielwalla’s distinctive collages in a bright orange, framed by a monochromatic border and offset against a beige background quintessentially mimicking the background colour of the antique patterns the artist uses as source materials. Scattered throughout that negative space are seven unsorted Roman numerals from I to VII. The Creation has multiple references from Biblical themes, to the number being culturally considered to be lucky, symbolising completeness and perfection in the physical and spiritual sense. While Shakespeare wrote of the seven ages of a man, the prime number has been significant since ancient times, prevalent in nature and religion likewise: from seven world wonders over seven oceans and continents to the creation of the earth and heavens by God within seven days.
The Creation also endeavors to not only bring together the East and West in respect to design and weaving, but also on a philosophical level. The Roman numerals found on the original pattern Narielwalla used to create the artwork, invites the viewer to reflect upon the meaning of time and space. Hormazd Narielwalla added: “Textiles are a bit like trees: it really makes you understand the dimension of time and there is so much wisdom in both.” The numeral system, which originated in ancient Rome, and accepted throughout Europe perceived the notion of time as linear, moving forward in one direction without repetition. The focus is on the future, where time is considered to be a scarce resource. However, on the artwork the Roman numerals are laid out in an irregular manner that introduces non-linear concepts of time, such as the cyclical one that prevails in Eastern cultures. This concept is based on the notion that time repeats itself the way it can be observed in the day/night periods, or arguably the seasons. Hence the past is being given a high importance and time is being perceived as plentiful.
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Astrid-Caroline Cole explained:
“The influence of time plays such a crucial role throughout art history! Alighiero Boetti for instance created a series of embroidered geographical maps, but by the time they were completed, the political and geographical situation had already changed significantly compared to the start.”