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Artists’ rugs at the Hammer Museum, LA

The Afghan Carpet Project at the Hammer Museum, LA

The Afghan Carpet Project at the Hammer Museum, LA

The Afghan Carpet Project at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, on show until 27 September 2015, features five carpets designed by five LA-based contemporary artists and handmade by weavers in Afghanistan. The carpets were conceived in response to a trip to Kabul and Bamiyan in March 2014, when the artists visited the workshops where the weaving would eventually take place.

The project is hosted by Christopher Farr, a company known for its collectible rugs produced in collaboration with acclaimed artists and designers, the Hammer Museum and AfghanMade, an initiative set up by the American Task Force for Business & Stability Operations (TFBSO), a division of the US Department of Defense. With the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the AfghanMade model has grown into a not-for-profit organisation that continues to produce world-class weaving.

The Afghan Carpet Project at the Hammer Museum, LA

Top row, left to right: Lisa Sanchez, Matthew Bourne, Liz Craft, Francesca Gabbiani, Bulent Ozozan, Christopher Farr. Bottom row, left to right: Jennifer Guidi, Ali Subotnick, Toba Khedoori. Photo: Lisa Anne Auerbach

Christopher Farr, the owner of the eponymous brand, travelled to Afghanistan with his colleague Matthew Bourne and artists Lisa Anne Auerbach, Liz Craft, Meg Cranston, Francesca Gabbiani, Toba Khedoori and Jennifer Guidi. The country held a mythical status for the carpet makers, but their first journey featured a few ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ moments. The journey was a paradoxical one for the artists too.

Read about their experiences in COVER magazine issue 40, out soon.

The Afghan Carpet Project at the Hammer Museum, LA

Lisa Anne Auerbach Unswept Rug 2014. Handspun Afghan wool. 77 2/10 x 95 7/10 in. (196 x 243 cm). Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Photo: Randall Harrington & Patrick Bolton

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