Art on rugs

Next week, eleven new graphic artworks, each by a different image maker, will go on display at London’s Dray Walk Gallery in the form of one-off, hand woven rugs…

Next week, eleven new graphic artworks, each by a different image maker, will go on display at London’s Dray Walk Gallery in the form of one-off, hand woven rugs…

Rug Addicts is the brainchild of Mark Hanlon and Nick Hartwright who both set up Foundation, they say, specifically to fuse graphic artwork with Egyptian carpet-weaving craftsmanship.

For Foundation’s debut show, they commissioned 11 artists – Anthony Burrill, Paul Insect, Pete Fowler (his rug, shown above), Present, Tomato, Alexone, Jack Teagle, Natasha Law, No Days Off, Si Scott and Yann Brien – to each create a new work that would be then made into just one 133 x 193cm rug, handwoven in Cairo.

Here’s a look at some of the rug artworks that will be exhibited in the show:

Above and below: Rug by No Days Off

Above and below: Rug and detail by Alexone

Above and below: Rug and detail by Anthony Burrill


Above and below: Tomato‘s rug

As well as creating uniquely crafted artworks that will help promote artists whose work they love, Hanlon and Hartwright also hope to give something back to the communities where the rugs are made. “We work with and support a local charity called Stable Antar Dream that helps kids in the slums of Cairo to get off the streets and into education,’ says Hartwright. ‘A percentage of our profit from every rug we sell goes directly to the charity,” he adds.

How much each rug will cost is something of a mystery, with Foundation telling us that prices will be revealed “on application”. Mmm… I wonder if the adage ‘if you have to ask, you can’t afford it’ applies.

Of course, graphic art on rugs is nothing new. Elms Lesters Painting Rooms had rugs made of several artists’ work back in 2005 for its Icygrape No. 1924 exhibition (we gave away a Delta rug as a Gallery prize at the time), and more recently Dutch studio Thonik employed the medium of rug in Graphic Tapestries at the Venice Architectural Biennale in 2008 and exhibited Graphic Carpets featuring their work at the Shanghai Art Museum in the same year.

Last year illustrator Serge Seidlitz included graphic rugs in his solo show at the Coningsby Gallery and now Damien Hirst is currently selling rug versions of his spin paintings. Oh, and we recently posted about M/M (Paris) Carpetologue exhibition which is currently running in London. Read that post here.

Rug Addicts runs from November 2 – 6 at the Dray Walk Gallery, London E1 6QL.


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