Home' Scoop Homes and Art : SHA 29 Winter 2011 Contents 188 HOMES & ART WINTER 2011
“Rugs have had such diverse uses over the
centuries. From camel blankets and purses, to
tent flaps, carpets, bedding and prayer rugs”
elve into the history of rugs and
chances are that just like the
evil spirits that were said to get
trapped in the endless loop of
the Turkish Holbein design, you’ll be drawn
in by their ancient stories.
Rugs have had diverse uses over the
centuries. From camel blankets, salt bags
and purses, to tent flaps, floor carpets,
bedding and prayer rugs, they have been
woven and utilised across cultures and
continents, and continue to bring richness
and warmth to homes the world over.
These historic elements of decoration will
come under the spotlight this winter in two
shows. In August, Chris Hoyne (of Temple
Direct in Claremont Design Gallery), and
Les Lauder and Mark Howard (of Ottoman
Empire, in Fremantle) are putting on
exhibitions to show the beauty and history
of antique rugs (see p193 for more details).
Rugs have a “certain romance” about
them, says Les.“They’ve witnessed great
feasts. They have been portable wealth for
many people,” he adds.
Les and and Mark will exhibit 22 rugs
they secured while on a recent trip to
Damascus, thanks to being in the right place
at the right time (see p191).
Chris Hoyne, meanwhile, will show a
selection of oriental rugs that will fit with
our local aesthetic. “They have an unbroken
history and have never gone out of fashion.
Across history, they’ve always been used as
one of the central furnishings, transcending
cultures,” he says of their appeal.
Although the long history of rugs is filled
with fascinating stories, weaving remains
fairly traditional. The oldest intact carpet
ever found is the Pazyryk carpet. Woven in
the fifth century BC, it was discovered in
1949 frozen in a tomb beneath the Siberian
steppe, and the knotting techniques are
similar to those used today.
Weaving remains a labour-intensive
trade, and wefts and warps continue to be
the base structure of all the different types
of hand-woven rugs and carpets. However,
it is a dying trade and there are now
Every antique rug tells a story – two exhibitions
in Perth this winter will let you experience them
WORDS Georgina Walsh
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