Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Feminine Rug

The glue, the scissors, the dust, the heat of a tin roof and the distant musk of a smoking bidi contrasts with the bottles of water, the cool cauldrons of dye, and the damp fragrance of newly washed rugs to make the factory a simultaneously harsh and nurturing place to live.

Against this atmosphere are the bright colors of the women worker's saris and the repetition of their movement. When I walk through the sample room, seeing the final products, I imagine the various processes behind their making, then look at the women, gathered, hard working, some chatting, others singing, tying tassels together, sorting through the rough parts and the fine parts of a sheep's wool, clearing long threads of yarn on a spinning wheel. The rugs, then, somehow, seem to assume the colors of the women's saris, and in pattern, mimic the repetition of their actions. 

My mind projects the bright blues, oranges, pinks and greens onto the finished rug: The colors, ideas, symbols, composition and final intensity and vigor of the rug seems to arise from the array of saris that adorn the factory compound, furnishing the stacks and piles of color that already exist inherent in the raw material.

Ikkat Rug

The word Ikat means 'bound', and though this style of tying is endemic to most textile cultures, traditionally, its patterns are more complex, with flower patterns and an array of natural, earth-toned colors. Here, the Ikat is contemporized with the employment of bright, vibrant colors, thus recreating the past into a new future. The simple triangular pattern seems to have a hallucinatory effect, bursting with color, idealism and a sense of the 60's revolution. While the rug is what it is in the end, it remembers the saris that wove it, from its birth to its youth.

The rug above, inspired by Herve Leger's clothing collection on bandages, heals in its simple, both in color pattern and design, primarily because it takes a tradition (that of stripes) and transforms it into a contemporary pattern. The women lying down after their lunch from their steel tiffins (visible in a few photos above), take an afternoon siesta before returning to their world of color and repetition. Their vertical composition, the way in which they lie together, not quite parallel, and their colors again seem to reflect the rug. This is the mind of process: we are a bundle of our pasts, thus even a rug is made up of all the materials, ideas and people that created it.

Text and images by Wooly Eyes

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...