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Can the conventional form of the carpet be reimagined?

Artist-designer Kunaal Kyhaan Seolekar innovates with the form of the carpet in his new creations

In the 'Ling' series, dot and dash patterns in contrasting shades animate the brick walled pattern

By Team Lounge

LAST PUBLISHED 11.04.2024  |  04:00 PM IST

A carpet that unfurls in an asymmetrical form, with the conventional floral motifs having been replaced by dots, dashes and stripes. Another one mimics the form of a snake. Crafted with wool and bamboo silk, it gives the illusion of a naaga. These are from designer Kunaal Kyhaan Seolekar's latest creations for luxury handmade carpets brand, Jaipur Rugs. Internationally, a lot of innovation is taking place in this field of design and craft, with carpets being used as a medium for contemporary art. Some designers and brands such as All Rugs by Gur and Dallas-based Loloi are experimenting with stark and neutral shades. 

Seolekar too has been innovating with the craft—with the form, while keeping the vibrance of the Indian carpet traditions alive. According to him, the varying pile heights and fringed trums create wavy patterns that evoke the essence of an untamed landscape. “The collection includes a set of outdoor rugs inspired by shed serpent skins, which are woven using vibrant PET yarns, a material choice that not only reflects the collection's aesthetic boldness but also signifies durability. This makes them ideal for outdoor spaces," he says. 

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In the seven sub-categories within the new ‘Jaanwar’ series. “It translates to ‘creature’ in Hindi, and this collection embraces the untamed essence of ancient Indian culture, tribal communities and wild animals," says Seolekar. “Through vibrant depictions of mythical tigers, snakes, and other creatures, it celebrates Indian folklore through contemporary graphic colors and strokes." 

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It was a conscious decision to base the series on the art of the Gond community, with its vivid aesthetics and closeness to nature. “Known for its storytelling prowess, Gond art infuses each piece with narratives and mythological tales. By integrating Gond art motifs into the rugs of the collection, we try to enrich the designs with layers of meaning and cultural depth, enhancing their overall richness and allure," he adds. 

This Gond art form influences both the technique and the color palette. One can see bold colours and styles that create a sense of movement within the textile. “The interplay of deep blues, fiery reds, lush greens, and radiant yellows reflects the landscapes these animals inhabit, mirroring the Gond palette," elaborates Seolekar. 

Also read: A master artist paints a caravan of stories in his new solo

 

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