When most people think of carpet, they get images of living rooms and basements in their head. Although carpet isn’t traditionally thought of as an artistic medium, there are plenty of open minded folks out there doing incredibly innovative work with carpet. From gallery installations to performance art, there are a number of young artists manipulating the conventional approach to carpet. Here at Floor Coverings International of the Piedmont Triad, we like to think of all our materials as having creative applications, which is why we’ve compiled a few of our favorite contemporary artists that are working solely in the medium of carpet; hopefully, some of these fantastic originators
will inspire you to rethink the possibilities contained within an ordinary piece of carpet.
We Make Carpets – http://wemakecarpets.wordpress.com
WE MAKE CARPETS, consisting of Marcia Nolte, Stijn van der Vleuten and Bob Waardenburg, is a collective of artists working out of the Netherlands that focus exclusively on making art objects into full scale carpets and rugs. One of We Make Carpets main techniques includes weaving flooring out of non-traditional objects, like buttons or cotton balls. To quote the group, “WE MAKE CARPETS makes a contemporary interpretation of this centuries-old medium. The weaving method, use of materials and patterns reflect the 21st century. At a distance, we simply see a decorative carpet. Closer inspection will, however, surprise us.” A quick look at the link above showcases some of their more fully-realized concepts, and is sure to inspire a bit of arts and crafts time in your home.
Tonico Lemos Auad is a Brazilian artist now working in London. Although Auad is quite versatile and tends to show a wide variety of techniques and approaches in his work, he is perhaps best known for the small animals he makes. The twist? All of the animals are made completely out of carpet fluff. From rabbits to giraffes, Auad makes incredibly small and delicate objects with little tufts of carpet, which came about because, as he says, he must, “try things that I have no idea of what will happen. I couldn’t do it any other way.” It’s hard to imagine coming upon such an odd idea any other way, but it’s safe to say that Auad made the right choice: his carpet animals have become a huge hit in the international art community.
Heidi Voet, who splits her time between Brussels and Shanghai, is another young artist currently making a big impression on the art world. Voet is well known for making sculptural work that integrates newer technology into Old World practices, which explains her piece “Cause Seven Eight Nine,” a large carpet woven completely out of digital watches. Using over four thousand multicolored watches all set to the exact same time, Voet turns on multiple alarms on each of the watches, creating a cacophony of digital sounds throughout the day. Even cooler, the artist claims that “over the course of the exhibition, the watches will inevitably malfunction, losing their synchronicity and eventually sounding like an out of rhythm and out of tune orchestra.” We’re not exactly sure just what point Voet is trying to make, but we can certainly appreciate her creative approach to carpet!
Although we may be working in more traditional ways, we like to think that everyone at Floor Coverings International of the Piedmont Triad is a bit of an artist themselves. From carpeting to laminate, from hardwood to tile, we’ll make sure to bring an innovative approach to each and every job we take on.