Elements of nature have always been a source of inspiration for artists who have explored the human condition through their reflection in the universe. In a recent collaboration, architect, interior designer and product designer Ashiesh Shah, along with Jaipur Rugs turns his abstract watercolour paintings into meditative rugs that are an interpretation of the cosmos.
Capturing the mysteries of starlit night skies through its striking gradients and textures, the deep indigo hued rugs of Brahmaand recall ancient Indian science and mysticism. The vast cosmos is illustrated using the intricate gul-tarashi technique; a finishing process in which artisans mould the design by carving and embossing them using scissors creating peaks and troughs that allude to passing time and space.
Detailed zardozi, an embroidery technique from the Mughal era using precious metal threads is employed in the collection to craft celestial motifs and constellations. The forms of the rugs draw inspiration from the ancient geometry of India, and the architecture of the ‘Jantar Mantar’, translating to 'instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens'. Located in New Delhi, it consists of 13 architectural astronomy instruments of which the primary purpose was to compile astronomical tables and predict the times and movements of the sun, moon and planets.
Titled Nakshatra, Manthan, Dwaar and Chanda, a concoction of various celestial elements, this collection through its depth, proportions and gradation serves as a mirror, bringing the universe to our feet. In hues of indigo, Dwaar depicts a gateway to an alternate reality; a portal to another world or a bold interpretation of the infinite universe in living spaces, while Chanda is a tribute to the ephemeral beauty and fluidity of the moon. It truly encapsulates the phases of the moon in the radiant night sky. Manthan alludes to the grounding nature of earth which also represents physical reality with its subtle gradients and organic forms.
Brahmaand conceptualizes elements of nature and manifests them through artisanal craftsmanship creating discourses of chaos and calm, being and non-being, illusion and reality. The collection embodies the notions of bhram (myth) and Brahmaand — both ultimately mysterious and far out of our reach.
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