1st - 6th November 2012
Dray Walk Gallery, Dray Walk, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL
1st November: Press night & private view.
2nd - 6th November: Open to the general public
Cutting edge contemporary art interwoven with ancient Egyptian craft in a collection of rugs by a hand-picked yet eclectic mix of artists and designers.
Foundation, have challenged their favourite artists and designers to work within the textile medium. The result is a stunning collection of unique rugs that brings together some of the brightest talents in graphic design, illustration, graffiti, street art, pop culture and typography with ageless Egyptian carpet-weaving craftsmanship.
Mark Hanlon and Nick Hartwright have taken the singular creations of the inaugural Foundation community – Anthony Burrill, Paul Insect, Pete Fowler, Present, Tomato, Alexone, Jack Teagle, Natasha Law, No Days Off, Si Scott and Yann Brien – to their traditional mill housed in a beautiful 19th century palace in Cairo. There, the family that has owned the mill for generations oversees the time-honoured hand-knotting craft whose products adorn some of the world’s most beautiful interiors.
Unique is a much-over-used word. But in this case it really means exactly what it says. One – and only one – hand-woven rug of each design will be produced on the centuries-old loom process in Egypt.
“These rugs have been a labour of love and have all taken around a year to make; from the creation of the artwork by our artists, to the many months of hand weaving on the looms in Cairo. The carpets will finally land at our exhibition in November. Because of this process each rug has become a unique masterpiece in its own right.” says Mark
The beauty of Foundation’s concept, though, is in the thought behind it as well as in the art itself. Founders Nick Hartwright and Mark Hanlon are eager not only to help new artists – but also the people and communities where their rugs are made.
“We work with and support a local charity that helps kids in the slums of Cairo to get off the streets and into education,’ says Nick. ‘A percentage of our profit from every rug we sell goes directly into the project – we use only local, ethically sourced materials – so we wanted to give something back to the community. I’ve worked in the handmade carpet business for many years and the craftsmanship, knowledge and integrity of the loom operators, is second to none. ”
This November’s launch event showcases just the first of many collections, each of which will be just as exquisite, just as vivid and challenging – and will make an equally vital contribution to the wellbeing of the communities of the Cairo slums.