Throughout history, western art appreciation has consistently relegated rug artistry to within the boundaries of craft - ie. the domestic realm, the feminine, of lesser value. The rugs we are involved in exhibit a confident aesthetic and irrespective of their historical context, ethnological meaning, or rarity, are works of art. " Oh you painters who ask for a technique of colour - study carpets and there you will find all knowledge " Paul Gaugin. In the canon of European art, the 20th century rates as the period of discovery of colour as pure non-representational form. So late compared with rugs! As in Australian indigenous art, nomadic and peasant rugs premise on the spiritual - utilising "storytelling" symbols of totemic and magic significance.
Our mission is to share and educate the community regarding these unique works of feminine sacred art. Before this age of mass production and child slavery there existed a feminine apotropaic and shamanistic weaving culture. That great culture, generically called "the Nomadic Horsemen of Central Asia" exists no more, and with it's demise go thousands of years of fascinating feminine spiritual knowledge. We do have some clues - the connections with various Turkic and American Indian cultures, for instance - but what speaks to us directly is the rugs themselves, as written and built histories generally have a "western male imperialist academic" filter and consequently do not address what the architect Chris Alexander called "a foreshadowing of twenty-first century art".
We in the 21st century see the ends of this culture, with pockets having survived in some form in parts of Iran and Afghanistan. We cry out for more, having just arrived at the end of an era. Rug art connects with an archaic epoch when the Gods were female at a time when our own cultural tide washes those shores. Look at our domestic housing. In the past our houses existed of a hallway with separate rooms of a specific function. This was the accepted western style - to separate and name. Even the sedentary peoples of Central Asia put the kitchen and the women's quarters in sections apart from the more important men's rooms. But look at modern open plan living with multi-functional spaces and rooms opening directly from the main area. This is akin to traditional nomadic and peasant dwellings such as the yurt, where the kitchen is the heart, where the feminine world is the centre, not devalued but elevated.
Berber, Middle Atlas, Morocco
The rugs collected in the small town of Marmoucha are usually thicker and more densely woven that others due to the colder high altitude climate.