Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Kilim Fields

Not just kilims (a kind of flat carpet with geometric tapestry like weaves) but rugs and carpets too. Sheets of colour and pattern piled, strewn and hung all over a large, empty room. A fragment of central Asia in the midst of a Bangalore art gallery. It felt surreal, as though we were stepping back into time (some of the pieces were well over a hundred years old) and floating westward into space. It was a good thing the collector Danny Mehra and his niece, Seema, were around, to firmly bring us down to earth again, with details of dates, weaving styles, colours and prices. A very interesting collection (of which I'm sure we only saw a fraction), that might be auctioned at a subsequent stage in India.

Danny has a collector's eye and passion but is also happy to share his views and information in a pleasant and gracious manner with one and all. He says the carpets speak to him and we understand, for they speak to us as well, and to anyone who might care to listen. These are all tribal creations that emanate from a weaver's imagination. This makes each carpet unique and the hand, the eye, the mind and at times, the very soul of the weaver are reflected in the carpet. Some are amazingly complex and some amazingly simple.

In Danny's words:
"The end product is a visual story, full of icon and expressions. Flowers. Plants. Birds. Animals. Human figures. Mythical objects. Shamanistic symbols. You will find many things that will put a smile in your heart through an art form that you may not have experienced or explored before. You are invited to mingle with these woven stories."

It was an irresistible invitation. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves (though I was unable to capture the real colours and feel of the materials in these pictures).

Our final selection:

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