How can new perspectives on displaying rugs benefit the craft?
We are delighted to invite you to a special exhibition entitled ‘The 4 Seasons’ by Lila Valadan at Domotex Hannover, 11-13 January 2020. Seven times Carpet Design Award winner, Lila Valadan is best known for her unique mix of modernity and origin. ‘The 4 Seasons’ will—in Valadan’s own words—invite visitors on ‘an uncertain journey of silence, virtue, harmony and chaos, an untold story about a conversation between different schools of rug design that only can be heard by the subconscious mind’. In COVER 57 Rachel Meek finds out how she continually breaks the mould. The following is an abridged extract from the article:
What can visitors to Domotex 2020 expect from Lila Valadan? The idea is to show the world behind—and beyond— the rug and its design; to give an impression one has stepped into the rug itself and is able to experience its personality through a threedimensional journey.
Why are you taking this approach? Our aim is to show the depth of rugs; to prove they are better than simple furnishing objects; rugs have a story to tell. As one of the oldest crafts of humankind, they contain mystery and wisdom. Yes, in today’s world the rug should beautify homes—it is a design object. But we like to draw the attention away from a pure design focus. Humans are driven by emotion, and rug buyers should connect both to the design and to the values it stands for. For instance, floral rugs are derived from the idea of bringing a beloved garden into the home. So, if I were to place a floral rug in my home, it would be in my living room, where I spend time with my family when we cannot be out in nature. A minimalistic rug tells the story of silence—of making time to listen to an inner dialogue—putting it in a place of meditation, critical thinking and self-reflection.
We like to inspire others to follow this approach. This is intended to be the first step of many that will transform the association of a rug as a furnishing object to an experiential form of art with depth and meaning. We would like to see rug fairs, like Domotex, become a place of inspiration and commerce that attract lovers of rugs, crafts, textiles, design and art from all over the world, therefore reaching out to a new and wider audience.
How will it differ from your Domotex stand in earlier years? This year, we are not just participating with a booth. We are hosting an art exhibition at over 400 square metres. The design of the space is part of the storytelling process. While, like all other exhibitors, we were trying our best in earlier years to create a beautiful booth, the focus was mainly on our products. This creates a very product-driven character but now, instead, we want to create a holistic experience of rugs, design and values.
Have your exhibitions in Hamburg the last six years informed your fair stands? We started to host exhibitions for our own clients. There was always this huge interest in knowing more about the world behind our rugs. For the majority of our German customers, rugs are still an exotic craft from 1001 Nights. We saw this as an opportunity to tell our customers a story they will never forget. Since 2013, we have hosted an annual exhibition around a different theme. From the wisdom of Islamic geometry to the Persian garden, we always tried to export the idea of our exhibition to Domotex, but in 2020 we will bring an entire exhibition for the first time.
How do you continue to find new perspectives on the ancient art form of rug weaving? I am drawn in by things I am curious about. At the beginning of every project, I am a student—not knowing much but eager to learn. During the process, I learn more and more. By the end of every exhibition I have become a small expert. Every exhibition has given me a new perspective and I look at the same rug differently each year. I have learned that when I cultivate myself, the world around me changes, I slowly start finding things that were hidden for me all my life. So, I guess the seed of inspiration is hidden in each of us and it is our duty to grow it.
COVER magazine is happy to be media partners with Lila Valadan for this event.