Undiscovered minimalism: Decoding woven tribal art



JEDDAH: AFRA NAUSHAD

Published — Tuesday 27 November 2012

Last update 27 November 2012 4:34 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Located between the Caspian Sea and the Alborz Mountains, the Mazandaran area bore undiscovered treasures of Persia until in the mid-1990s, an Oriental carpet dealer by the name of Werner Weber fell upon the powerfully expressive kilims (handwoven rugs), possessing a beauty unlike any other known to the trade. Athr Gallery in association with Iwan Maktabi has brought the rare opportunity to the public with these museum-worthy kilims on display for viewing until Dec. 6.
“In this exhibition, we want the visitor to not only tune into the secret language of tribal woven art, but also to think outside the domain of ethnography, in an attempt to capture the underlying elements that connect ‘Textile Art’ to simply ‘Art’, said Mohammad A. Maktabi. The antique carpets, expected to be spanning three generations and over a hundred years, incidentally evoke a resemblance to modern architecture and art with their warm colors and abstract expressions, while borrowing a deep and obvious inspiration from the natural landscape of Mazandaran.
Athr gallery, which operates as a hub for artistic visual expression, decided to bring the exhibition not only as a way to provide the opportunity for appreciating a different art medium, but also as a means for art education. Maya El Khalil, manager at Athr Gallery, said: “You can’t just confine art to certain mediums. It’s not only about paintings or about just photography, or installations. Art is such a wide concept.”
The Kilims’ ability to be representative of a unique art form by positioning its similarities in modern day artworks of Mark Rothko, Ad Reinhardt, and Barnett Newman, as expressed by art expert Heinz Meyer, is also one of the reasons that the woven rugs might appeal to the sensibilities of the contemporary art clique.
“They were so avant-garde in the time they were reproduced that we thought they were definitely worth showing,” El Khalil said.
While the central palette derives its coloration in hues of brown, red and beige — shades indigenous to the agriculturally rich land of Mazandaran—– some of the pieces weave together a picture of contemporary styles and visual textures with a clean aesthetic defined by its spontaneity, clarity and simplicity, laboriously hand-woven by tribal Persian women to be passed as heirloom.
“These kilims were given as a dowry when they (Mazandarans) got married. It was one of the most important possessions they had,” informs El Khalil. “Because they were given as dowry and the villagers from the area were not very wealthy, the best was produced from vegetable dyes which we know are quite expensive today.”
Undiscovered Minimalism is an exhibition worth attending to experience and discover the sense of antiquity, beauty and labor of love.
Exhibited kilims are for sale between an estimated SR 150,000 and SR 300,000.
Location: 5th floor Business Center, wing B, Serafi Mall, Tahliah Street, Jeddah.
For more information, visit: www.athrart.com

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: A Saudi citizen was killed in shelling fired across the border from Yemen into the southwest of Saudi Arabia on Sunday, local media reported.A shell fell on a house around dawn in Najran province, civil defense department spokesman Ali bin Om...
JEDDAH: Female voters in Al-Ahsa have urged the authorities handling the municipal elections to drop the condition of presenting the national identity card while enrolling themselves in the voters’ list. Some women in Madinah too have appealed for mo...
JEDDAH: After the recent incident of a rat eating from a bowl at a well-known food outlet in a Jeddah mall came to light, residents have called for food hygiene ratings of restaurants and roadside eateries across the city.Although the municipality wo...
JEDDAH: A muezzin (one who recites the Adhaan) of a Riyadh mosque recently sprung a surprise in the Austrian tourist town of Zell am See by his Adhaan after taking permission from members of a musical band.Social media is abuzz with the news and vide...
RIYADH: A Sri Lankan national, who works as a cleaner in the Kingdom, was commended and rewarded by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) for returning a bag containing gold to its owner.“Prince Sultan bin Salman, president o...
RIYADH: Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammed Shahriar Alam arrived in Jeddah on Sunday to meet with his Saudi counterpart Nizar Madani on Monday.On arrival at the royal terminal, the minister was received by Director General of the...
RIYADH: A report of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage predicts the rate of growth in job opportunities in the country's tourism sector between 2010 and 2020 will be 10 percent a year as compared to a global growth rate of 2.5 per...
JEDDAH: Two million meningitis vaccines have been distributed among health centers in 20 governorates and provinces across the Kingdom for domestic Haj pilgrims.It is mandatory for all pilgrims to be vaccinated against meningitis and for those coming...
RIYADH: Some 1,500 certified documents with proper identity are issued on average to Yemenis from the Jazan region daily. More than 400,000 Yemenis have corrected their residency status from all parts of the Kingdom.The announcement was made during a...
JEDDAH: The Makkah governorate has announced four new road projects linking Makkah and Jeddah. The new roads will facilitate smoother and faster travel between the cities.An estimated 35 million people will benefit from the projects, which will inclu...
JEDDAH: A major disaster is waiting to happen in the fish market of Madinah because of the callous attitude of traders toward handling of gas cylinders. A visit to the market presents a dreadful picture of cylinders kept on top of each other without...
JEDDAH: Information and Culture Minister Adel Al-Toraifi has approved the appointment of Khalid Bo-Ali as editor in chief of the Eastern Province-based Alsharq Arabic newspaper. He was nominated for the post by the board of directors of the newspaper...
JEDDAH: Jamil Farsi, head of the Gold and Jewelry Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), says he expects 3,000 job opportunities to be created for Saudi women in the jewelry design and gold sector across the Kingdom, with ab...
JEDDAH: More than 50 visually challenged people successfully performed Umrah with the help of the Ebsar Foundation for the Visually Impaired and the Ambassadors of Volunteers organization under their program “Umrah for the visually impaired,” which w...
JEDDAH: Although the Ministry of Labor is opening its doors to receive complaints from private sector employees, many Saudi females employed in cosmetic and perfume shops in Madinah are not making complaints about being overworked due to fear of losi...

Stay Connected

Facebook