Carpet Pages I is the first in a series of group shows presented by artist and curator Vaishali Prazmari featuring a variety of artists involved with the Book Arts, both Islamic and European, and their dazzling title or opening chapter pages which were called Carpet Pages. These exquisitely detailed and highly ornamented and illuminated surfaces were covered in arabesques and geometric patterns and often included the use of gold and jewel-like, precious pigments. They were a showcase for the Book Arts and a demonstration of the artist's mastery. The talented artists in this inaugural exhibition are all adepts in their craft and their exciting and beautiful work - ranging from paintings to textiles, geometry to figuration and traditional to contemporary art - is testimony to their manifold skills. As book pages are sequential, so future shows will build on this important first chapter. The curator's love of carpets also reflects the wider goal of this show sequence which is to bring together diverse artists with similar interests into a whole; to unite disparate elements into a unified pattern, which is one of the goals of rug-making itself. Carpets are visual feasts for the eye and this first iteration in the Carpet Pages cycle promises the same.
Mahrukh Bashir is an international artist who is known for her delicate, intricate paintings with hand-ground gold. She offers workshops from her studio in Wimbledon and is a tutor at the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts. Jethro Buck is an artist that applies traditional principles and techniques (mostly Indian miniature ones) to explore and celebrate nature and Beauty. Israa Zahra Butt is dedicated to the revival of historical crafts from the Islamic world and has been inspired by Islamic pattern, geometry and the beauty of nature. She specialises in traditional textiles; natural dyeing, painting and embroidery. Elisabeth Deane is a painter making contemporary art with a traditional twist. The abstract, geometric nature of her work represents both the simple and the universal, the micro and the macro and the interplay of these dichotomies. Lisa DeLong’s work explores the dynamic interplay between chaos and cosmos, light and colour within the harmony of a geometric matrix. Shaheen Kasmani is a visual artist, educator and curator. She specialises in Islamic Art, and her work focuses on reclaiming narratives using traditional patterns and motifs, and mixing them with conventional and contemporary contexts. Amber Khokhar’s Entwined is inspired by the Cypress Tree motif, popular in the arts of the Islamic world. Prints from this series have been shown at Queen’s Museum of Art, New York, USA; The Princes School of Traditional Art, London and VM Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan. Vaishali Prazmari is fascinated by the age-old collisions and overlaps between the ancient and modern, east and west, macro and micro. In her practice she makes connections between seemingly disparate methods and materials via their natural sympathies. Shorsh Saleh employs the traditional techniques of miniature painting in a contemporary context. His works are inspired by the symbolic motifs in traditional carpets and kilims. He uses natural pigments, gold leaf and handmade paper.
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