Five London creatives have made works of art meant to be stroked, walked on and maybe even hung on the wall, in an unconventional collaboration with The Rug Company.
The five – three painters, a printmaking expert and a goldsmith – are all affiliated with Sarabande, the foundation created by the late Lee Alexander McQueen that provides scholarships and studio space to emerging creative talent of all stripes.
They transferred their latest works to a whole different medium, the collaboration helping to mark The 25th anniversary of The Rug Company.
Entitled “The Sarabande Collection”, the program offers five models of handcrafted rugs. The Rug Company has partnered with each artist to represent the integrity and depth of their individual disciplines in woven patterns available worldwide.
Trino Verkade, founding director and managing director of Sarabande, said the marriage of the foundation’s creatives with The Rug Company’s craftsmanship and approach to design was meant to be.
“Our languages are alike. It’s the perfect conversation. These designs are not rushed, they are not trendy. It’s about craftsmanship and investing in the future, and it allows artists to represent their work in a different way,” she said.
Verkade added that the collaboration was also very much in the spirit of Sarabande, which is all about “creativity in broad strokes – art, fashion, manufacturing and jewelry – and welcoming artists from different backgrounds. OWe always want to see how far creativity can go.
The rugs are handmade and although part of one collection they couldn’t be more distinctive.
Multi-disciplinary artist Stephen Doherty’s “Anemone” design features ethereal watercolor flowers on a large scale, with woven silk threads to form the petals and hand-sculpted detailing.
Goldsmith Shinta Nakajima’s soft silver metallic silk “Hibiki” rug emulates his 3D craftsmanship with carved magnolia trees. Jhe piece by Romanian-born painter Mircea Teleaga is inspired by his “characteristic layering style of using oil paint to bring out the organic pattern of the canvas.” Its “Limen” carpet with a vaporous geometric pattern with wool and silk.
“It was pretty interesting to see this all fall into place, because we started it in 2019,” says artist Michaela Yearwood-Dan, adding that the delay in launch was due to the pandemic.
“You can really tell you’re working with a craftsmanship-focused company that cares about how things are made. We were kept in mind at every stage of the design process, and having the power to approve each piece was great,” she adds as she sits on her “Euphoria” rug, which features a kaleidoscope of silk threads and a collage of botanical motifs around the perimeter of the rug.
Castro Smith, engraver, painter, engraver and ring designer, says, “History is really important. The rugs are made in the Himalayas and support craftsmanship, community and knowledge. This knowledge continues to the next generation. It’s a big part of that as well as the arts.
Rugs from The Rug Company are handmade in Nepal, woven by expert artisans using Tibetan wool. Smith’s “Cascade” rug was inspired by Nepal: its rug design displays puffy clouds and flying birds, a Nepalese sky in wool and silk.
Each of the five models can be adapted to different spaces – residential and commercial – and cost from $225 per square foot to $330 per square foot. square foot, depending on the design.
James Seuss, managing director of The Rug Company, says that the collaboration with Sarabande came naturally.
“We share a passion for handcrafted and handcrafted quality, using age-old techniques to create Innovative design. We knew from the start that the Sarabande artists would deeply respect this process and would love to bring their vision to our rugs.
He adds that the five artists have worked closely with The Rug Company’s studio to translate their creative discipline into floor art.
“Shinta’s hammering and hunting skills have been transformed into a hand-carved silk carpet that echoes its shimmering silver embellishments, while Stephen’s petals have been carefully hand-carved by our weavers to echo to his illustrations where a blade is gently traced over wet ink,” says Seuss. .
He emphasizes that the collection is long-term.
“They’re made to last a lifetime, so our collections resist trends. We are honored to support Sarabande in its mission to champion underrepresented artists, and are already amazed by the impact their creations have had on the design community.